Sun, Mar 04, 2018 - Page 6 News List

Joining the CPTPP requires planning

By Liu Da-nien 劉大年

China is unlikely to become a member of a trade pact that is so heavily influenced by the US. That being said, joining the pact agreement would require the approval of each existing member. If cross-strait relations remain unstable, China would undoubtedly pressure CPTPP members to prevent Taiwan from joining the pact. The government therefore must bear in mind the potential resistance likely to be thrown up by China.

The finalization of the CPTPP agreement is the brightest example among regional economic integration projects around the world this year. It is a good example of how the US’ withdrawal from the TPP has not affected regional economic integration efforts and has even accelerated the formation of other free trade agreements, including also the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which is currently under negotiation.

Many other countries have expressed a strong interest in joining the CPTPP and even US President Donald Trump has said that he does not rule out the possibility of rejoining the agreement, saying that he would take the issue into reconsideration.

It is evident that the CPTPP will continue to expand in the future. However, countries will not be satisfied with taking part in only one large free trade agreement. This all adds up to a weakening of the WTO, posing greater challenges to Taiwan, which has long complied with the organization’s regulations and heavily relied on the free trade environment it provides.

Liu Da-nien is director of the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research’s Regional Development Study Center.

Translated by Chang Ho-ming

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