Taiwan should join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) before China becomes a member of the trade group, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers said yesterday.
The successor to the Trans-Pacific Partnership that then-US president Donald Trump abandoned, CPTPP members include Japan, Singapore, Canada and Mexico, among many others.
Taiwan would lose its shot at joining if China joins the pact, DPP Legislator Chiu Chih-wei (邱志偉) told a news conference at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.
Photo: Tu Chien-jung, Taipei Times
Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) in November last year told an APEC summit that Beijing wants to join the pact.
The timing would be right for Taiwan to launch a bid now, as the world has a negative perception of China and Japan is chair of the CPTPP this year, Chiu said.
Singapore is to chair the trade pact next year, with Singaporean Minister of Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan tapped to take the post, he said, adding that Balakrishnan has voiced support for a Chinese bid.
Taiwan must prepare a bid by amending laws, mustering public support and lobbying foreign governments, Chiu said.
The Executive Yuan has yet to propose amendments that would bring the Patent Act (專利法), the Copyright Act (著作權法) and the Trademark Act (商標法) in line with CPTPP requirements, he said.
Additionally, government agencies should accelerate the drafting of the digital communications and broadcast bill, he said.
Japan chairing the CPTPP is an important, but fleeting advantage for Taiwan, as officials in the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Diet have said that the nation should be part of the trade pact, DPP Legislator Hsu Chih-chieh (許智傑) told the news conference.
Hsiao Chen-jung (蕭振榮), a senior negotiator at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taipei, said that government efforts to join the CPTPP are being conducted in the way the lawmakers outlined.
The ministry is observing the UK’s bid to join to better understand the process and anticipate difficulties that might arise, Hsiao added.
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