South Korea Prepares to Join CPTPP

South Korea’s trade minister announced that the country is ready to join an Asia-Pacific trade deal that would benefit both South Korea and Japan.

Trade Minister Yeo Han-koo told Nikkei in an interview that the South Korean government is “ready to meet the high standards required by the TPP,” referring to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a free-trade pact between 11 countries around the Pacific Rim.

Japan’s cabinet had earlier said that it is yet to see whether South Korea can fully meet the high standards of the trade pact, days after Seoul announced that it will begin the process of applying for the TPP, according to Kyodo.

Han-koo said that the trade pact would “vitalize the Korea-Japan economic cooperation and offer benefits for both,” adding that markets have “recognized the importance” of supply-chain cooperation between the two countries despite strained relations over the past few years.

South Korea’s bid for the TPP comes amid similar requests from China and Taiwan to join the pact which cuts tariffs for goods traded among its members and sets high-standard rules for commerce and intellectual property.

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