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“They hope for us to stay in touch,” he said, adding that Taiwan is waiting for the CPTPP grouping to make “clearer rules” about membership application.
The original 12-member agreement, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), was thrown into limbo in early 2017 when U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew.
It was renamed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and links Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
Taiwan has played down the impact of RCEP on its economy, saying that 70% of its exports to RCEP member countries, mostly electronic products, are already tariff free.
Taiwan hopes eventually to sign a free trade deal with the United States, its main arms seller and most important international backer, and the two will hold high-level economic talks at the end of this week. (Reporting by Yimou Lee Writing by Ben Blanchard Editing by Robert Birsel)