The American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei (AmCham) yesterday called on Taiwan’s incoming government to push through a “second-generation Administrative Procedure Act (APA)” to prepare the nation for accession to trade blocs like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
The US business group’s remark came after Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) clinched a landslide victory in Saturday’s elections to become the nation’s first female president.
AmCham released a statement congratulating Tsai on her victory in the presidential race.
“This is a historic occasion — the sixth time that Taiwan’s citizens voted directly for their president and the third time that the election resulted in the peaceful transition of power between political parties,” AmCham chairman Dan Silver said in the statement.
AmCham said it is confident that the relationship between the people of Taiwan and the US will continue to grow under the new government, but added that Taiwan has only 15 to 18 months to prepare for the talks over the second round of membership in the TPP, which is led by the US and Japan and is to account for 40 percent of the world’s trade when it takes effect.
“Part of that preparation should be adoption of an APA requiring Taiwan’s government agencies to publish all substantive rules of general applicability in advance, give the public at least 30 (or 60) days to comment and then respond in summary form to the comments,” AmCham said in the statement.
The result would be to provide Taiwan with a transparent, practical and effective regulatory structure better aligned with the public interest and international best practices, the statement said.
AmCham has been closely watching Taiwan’s progress in pursuing membership in the 12-member TPP.
In October last year, AmCham said that the TPP was crucial for Taiwan and the nation had to do everything in its power to burnish its candidacy to gain accession to the bloc in the second round, when the TPP was ready to expand its membership for another year or more.
“A trade economy such as Taiwan’s cannot afford to be left out of such a critical initiative,” AmCham said at the time.
Taiwan’s trade with the 12 TPP nations stood at US$204.6 billion and accounted for 35 percent of the nation’s overall trade in 2014, according to statistics from the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
In October last year, the US, Japan and 10 other Pacific Rim nations reached a landmark agreement over the TPP after years of negotiations.
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