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Taiwan prepares for CPTPP with mock negotiations: premier

2018/08/07 22:57

CNA file photo

Taipei, Aug. 7 (CNA) Taiwan is actively preparing for negotiations over the nation's admission to the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), in the hope of joining the regional trade bloc during its second round of accession talks, Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德) said Tuesday.

To step up preparedness for possible scenarios that could result from the negotiations, government officials have been conducting mock talks to examine related issues, Lai said in a pre-recorded interview with TTV and Unique Broadcasting that aired Tuesday night.

Taiwan's top trade negotiator John Deng (鄧振中) has assembled a team to play each of the 11 countries that are signatories to the trade agreement and engage in mock negotiations with a delegation representing Taiwan, Lai said.

CPTPP is expected to solicit a second-wave of applicants at the end of this year or early next year, Lai said. "Our hope is that when Taiwan is invited to join CPTPP, we won't have to spend too much time (to complete the negotiations)."

The new trade agreement is a slimmed-down version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement signed by Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam in March after the United States withdrew from the TPP.

Taiwan, as a member of the WTO, is eligible to join CPTPP, and its economic stature would bring benefits to CPTPP members, Lai said.

"If political factors are involved in the case, it will get complicated, but that will not deter us. We will step up our preparations," Lai said.

Asked about possible fallout from the trade war between the U.S. and China, Lai said that the government is circumspect about how the situation evolves and not overly concerned.

The government is in the process of examining to what extent individual industries are being affected or could be affected by a trade war and devising strategies to help them cope with its impact, Lai said.

(By Shih Hsiu-chuan) Enditem/AW