Singapore Sees ‘Complications’ in Taiwan Bid to Join Trade Deal
(Bloomberg) -- Taiwan’s bids to join an 11-nation trade pact come with clear “political complications,” Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said.
“We would welcome their application in the same way we would welcome any economy that is willing and able to meet those high standards,” Balakrishnan said in a Bloomberg Television interview on Thursday. “Having said that, there are obviously political complications in that respect, and like many of the issues across the straits, again you do need resolution.”
Both Taiwan and China are vying to join the agreement, known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, which was once championed by the U.S. until former President Donald Trump exited. The Biden administration has ruled out signing up amid domestic opposition in Congress, although it has pushed for closer engagement with Asia through a new Indo-Pacific economic framework that is still light on details.
Speaking at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum, Balakrishnan said the CPTPP nations, which includes a number of U.S. allies, would need to all agree on whether to allow another government to join. Singapore will chair the group’s commission next year.
In a written reply to a parliament question last month, Singapore’s trade minister said that the city-state “welcomes China’s interest” to join the trade deal. Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan said on Wednesday that his country would need to be able to conduct ministerial discussions with China as part of a process for the world’s second-largest economy to join the group.
The New Economy Forum is being organized by Bloomberg Media Group, a division of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.
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