The economics ministry says failure to approve a trade in services agreement with China may hurt Taiwan’s bid to join the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Vice Economics Minster Woody Duh made the comments on Wednesday while responding to lawmakers’ questions. Duh said Taiwan has expressed its hope to join the TPP to the United States. But he said failure to approve the trade in services agreement with China may hurt Taiwan’s bid.
“If the trade in services agreement is still facing considerable opposition, many countries may doubt whether Taiwan is prepared to accept the TPP’s terms, which involve a higher degree of opening up,” said Duh.
Taiwan and China signed the trade in services agreement last June, but the pact has failed to clear the legislature. An attempt by a ruling party lawmaker to pass a first reading of the agreement led student protestors to occupy the legislature.
The government has said that the trade in services agreement will be beneficial to Taiwan’s economy, but critics fear that it will annihilate Taiwan’s small businesses and give China too much influence over the country.