By: Jocylin FC, Taiwan News, Staff Writer
Taiwan’s Economic Affairs Minister John Deng said the Taiwan’s bid to join the Trans-
Pacific Partnership (TPP), a United States-led trade bloc, lies in the hands of 12 member states and “no opposition from China.”
The U.S. and 11 other Pacific Rim countries concluded TPP negotiations on Oct. 5 after more than five years of negotiations. The trade bloc covers about 40 percent of the global economy. Taiwan can have a chance to join the trade bloc if China shows no opposition in the case. “China has the biggest market among all member states, so it’s inevitable that they will have some concerns,” said Deng in an interview with a local radio station. Many international affairs experts suggest Taiwan government to build closer relationships with other 12 member states to increase the chances.
Deng said the degree of openness of the TPP is extremely high with few exceptions, and the transition period during which tariffs have to be cut to zero or 5 percent is five or 10 years, shorter than for most free trade agreements. Deng admitted that several countries have adopted a cautious attitude toward Taiwan’s bid to join the trade bloc, and considering that China is the biggest trading partner of six of the 12 participating countries, since they have been isolating Taiwan in international affairs as they oppose the sovereignty of Taiwan. However, Taiwan is a big market that imports US$200 billion to US$300 billion worth of goods a year, and the opportunity to join the bloc is not slim. [FULL STORY]