Taiwan seeking to join rival trade block to counter RCEP

16 November, 2020

Courtesy of ICRT

Economics Minister Wang Mei-hua says the government will continue efforts to join a free trade agreement involving Japan and 10 other Asia Pacific countries, in an effort to cushion the impact of the just signed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

That partnership is backed by Beijing and excludes both the United States and Taiwan and seeks to eliminate tariffs on 91% of goods.

According to Wang, the government will continue its efforts to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is a Japan-led trade deal that comprises 11 signatories.

Minister without Portfolio John Deng says 70% of Taiwan's exports to the RCEP member countries are information and communication technology products.

And they are already tariff-free under the World Trade Organization's Information Technology Agreement.

However, Deng says 30% of products from Taiwan's old-economy industries, including the petrochemical and machinery sectors, may be affected, the RCEP, but that will likely not have a great impact on Taiwan overall.

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