Cabinet is eyeing membership of CPTPP: premier

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Taipei Times | 17 November 2017

Cabinet is eyeing membership of CPTPP: premier

By Chen Wei-han

The government is to prepare for the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a trade initiative to create a regional integration mechanism, the Cabinet said yesterday.

On the sidelines of the APEC leaders’ summit in Vietnam on Saturday last week, 11 Asia-Pacific nations announced that they would continue a regional free-trade initiative following the withdrawal of the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in January and rename the initiative the CPTPP.

Premier William Lai (賴清德) yesterday said the government would seek to join the new initiative, instructing the Cabinet to prepare for bilateral and multilateral negotiations.

Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) said although the complete framework of the CPTPP has yet to be outlined, it appears to more tolerant than the TPP, with a mechanism likely to be in place to receive new members.

The CPTPP is to be based on the TPP framework, but dozens of regulations have been suspended, including a dispute settlement mechanism between investors and local governments, an intellectual property rights protection mechanism and government procurement regulations.

The suspensions would make it easier for Taiwan to reconcile its legal framework with that of the CPTPP, Kung said.

The government has been pushing ahead with legislation on intellectual property rights, copyright and pharmaceutical regulations to bring the nation’s legal system closer to international standards, he added.

The CPTPP is expected to take effect in 2019, so the government needs to speed up its efforts to achieve membership, he said.

Asked whether the Cabinet would set up an ad hoc task force to promote the bid to join the CPTPP, Kung said the Executive Yuan’s Office of Trade Negotiations, which was established to negotiate inclusion in the TPP, would lead the effort to join the CPTPP.

source: Taipei Times