Ministry to redouble bid to join expanded CPTPP

Staff writer, with CNA

Mon, Jan 21, 2019 - Page 3

The government aims to seek support from members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and meet the standards for accession to the group, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said on Saturday, after members on Saturday agreed to expand the pact’s membership at their first meeting since the agreement took effect on Dec. 30 last year.

Participating countries in a joint ministerial statement after the commission meeting in Tokyo said that it is important to expand the agreement by taking in new members to form a stronger front against the rise of protectionism.

“Amid growing concerns over recent trends toward protectionism, ministers shared the view that it is of paramount importance to maintain and further strengthen the principles of an effective, open, inclusive and rules-based trading system,” the statement said.

The CPTPP members reiterated that the agreement is open to all economies that accept these principles and are willing to meet the high standards of the agreement, Lee said.

Taiwan’s economic and trade system meets international standards and complies with the CPTPP’s requirements, he said.

Signatories all know of Taiwan’s interest in joining the trade bloc, Lee said, adding that the government would continue to communicate with them through various channels to seek their support.

Japanese Minister in charge of Economic Revitalization Toshimitsu Motegi, who served as chairman at the CPTPP committee meeting, told a press conference that the trade deal would be open to countries or regions that accept its principles and are willing to meet its standards.

The CPTPP came into being after US President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) days after he took office in January 2017.

The other 11 TPP countries — Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam — renegotiated the free trade deal and called the new version the CPTPP. It was signed in March last year.

Taiwan, the UK, Colombia, Indonesia, Thailand and South Korea are seen as willing to join the CPTPP.