Malaysia expressed its intention to welcome Korea’s plan to join the Comprehensive and Gradual Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). It is the 7th country to officially welcome and support Korea’s joining of the 11 member countries. However, as Japan opposes Korea’s membership by raising conditions for membership, such as the issue of a ruling on forced labor, or the domestic agricultural and fishery industry may intensify opposition, it is expected that the actual membership will be difficult.
According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on the 18th, Yeo Han-koo, head of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy’s Trade and Negotiation Headquarters, held a video conference with Malaysia’s Senior Minister Mohammed Ajmin Ali and Minister of International Trade and Resources on the same day to discuss trade cooperation measures such as CPTPP. At the meeting, Minister Azmin expressed his support for Korea’s application for membership in the CPTPP.
CPTPP is a large economic alliance with 11 countries. As of 2020, the trade volume reached 5.2 trillion dollars, accounting for 14.9% of the global trade volume. So far, seven countries, including Malaysia, Canada, New Zealand, Mexico, Vietnam, Australia, and Brunei have expressed their welcome and support for Korea’s entry into the country. The other four countries are Japan, Singapore, Chile, and Peru.
Earlier, on the 15th, the Korean government approved the plan to join the CPTPP in writing. It has been officially confirmed that it will apply for membership in the CPTPP within this month. It has been about eight years since CPTPP expressed its interest in joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in 2013. Even if you apply for membership, it is expected that it will take at least one to two years to actually join after going through negotiations with member countries. Last year, the UK, China, and Taiwan applied for CPTPP membership one step ahead of Korea.
The prevailing opinion is that negotiations with Japan are important for Korea to finally join the CPTPP. Accession to the CPTPP requires the unanimous consent of the existing member states. For this reason, there are concerns that Japan, the chair country, may block the membership by raising issues such as lifting restrictions on imports of seafood from Fukushima or ruling on forced labor.
The opposition from the domestic agricultural and fishery industry is also expected to intensify. In Yeouido Park, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, farmers and fishermen groups such as the Korea Agricultural and Livestock Association held a national farmers and fisherman convention and shouted against joining the CPTPP. The public hearing on the application for membership in the CPTPP hosted by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on the 25th of last month was also prematurely ended due to opposition from agricultural and fishery groups.
On the 14th, candidacy for Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Jeong Hwang-geun said, “Farmers are not only unconditionally opposed to the CPTPP, but are aware that sufficient dialogue and explanation with the government are insufficient. ” has been said.
Sejong = Reporter of the former special school email@example.com