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The TPP Conference came to end on July 31 in Hawaii, but despite the endeavor of 12 participating nations, a consensus still wasn’t reached. In the meantime, the Taiwanese government has been advocating joining the TPP, but what exactly is it?

TPP is the abbreviation for “Trans-Pacific Partnership," an agreement aimed for regional free trade and 12 nations are currently engaged. TPP aims to lower tariff boundaries, allowing all goods to flow freely in the market.

Long story short, TPP is like a bartering market where folks gather to exchange goods. For instance, Vietnam would like to sell apparel to other countries and Australia or New Zealand dairy products; Japan wants to sell cars, the US advertises their pork, rice, patented medicine and so on. The key to a successful exchange for every stakeholder is for each side to take a step back. As for how many steps is the key to a win-win negotiation.

The idea of TPP has been implemented for five years. There have been dozens of negotiations, in which each nation adheres to their own interests. Sectors including agriculture, intellectual property and the automotive industry remain in dispute. In the negotiation process, Japan expects the US to withdraw automotive tariffs, while the US hopes to sells its patented drugs to Australia. Aside from demanding shorter patent years of the US, Australia also intends to market their dairy products to Mexico. And Mexico wishes to sell cars to the US. As an exchange, the US plans to export rice and pork to Japan.

Yet to protect the domestic industry, some nations refuse to open (Canada in this case), others bicker over quantity (Mexico and Japan).

For instance, in order to ensure domestic agricultural development, the Japanese government hoarded 360 thousand tons of American rice for a while, then sold it cheaply as animal feed. All deficit was covered by officials. Canada holds a stronger position, refusing to open a single bit of its domestic agricultural market.

And so the negotiations were terminated.

Vigorously fighting for Taiwan’s TPP admission, Taiwan would benefit from low tariffs. Various industries including, moulding, screws, orchids and grouper aquaculture would have the chance to reach another height of exporting. However, under identical conditions, goods such as American pork, offals, rice and milk would advance into Taiwan at bargained prices. If we fail to devise a complete set of supporting measures, traditional Taiwanese industries will be devastated.

As the Taiwanese government claims that TPP would bring more benefits than disadvantages, we should ask ourselves at the same time, “Are we ready?”

Video produced by The News Lens Video Team

Translated by Wade Cheng
Edited by Olivia Yang