Taiwan still has a long way to go before it can gain entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, a senior US official said this week.
“There is a lot more that can and should be done,” US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian Affairs Daniel Russel said. “My message to Taiwan regarding TPP is this: Keep up the good work.”
Russel was answering questions at the Foreign Press Center in Washington after US President Barack Obama’s summit with South Korean President Park Geun-hye.
Asked about US concerns over Taiwan’s plans to seek second-round entry into the TPP, Russel said the nation had already completed a “significant amount” of reform and made progress on the economy and difficult trade issues.
“On the very positive side, we are proud to host a growing span of investment from Taiwan, and we are pleased that Taiwan companies see so much value in operating in and investing in the United States,” Russel said.
He said that the trade relationship was growing and that barriers were coming down.
“These are all good things,” he said.
Russel said now that first-round TPP negotiations had been completed, details of the trade agreement were becoming fully known.
He said these details could be used as a template for countries like Taiwan “to make progress in their internal reforms by way of liberalizing, by way of making improvements, whether it’s with regard to environment or labor.”
“There’s a lot that major economies throughout the Asia Pacific region, including Taiwan, can do to move into the direction of what would be necessary ultimately to be accepted by all 12 TPP members as a new negotiating partner when the TPP countries ultimately ratify the agreement and then turn to the next step,” he added.
While he did not mention the timeline involved, Politico magazine on Thursday said that TPP might not be taken up by the US Congress until after next year’s presidential election in the US.
The magazine quoted senior congressional staffer Mike Sommers as saying that Congress was unlikely to move on the massive trade package until a lame-duck session more than a year from now.
“White House officials, and pro-free-trade groups and companies had hoped Congress would take up the measure by next summer, although that timetable now looks to be in jeopardy,” Politico said.
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today. The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches. During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation. After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung