- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 10, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

I read with appreciation Lamont Colucci’s Op-Ed column on the importance of a U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) as well as the proposed FTAs with Japan and Taiwan (“Free trade exigencies,” Opinion, Monday). As the piece mentioned, a Taiwan-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (TUFTA) would be particularly advantageous for the United States because the most important sectors of the Taiwan and U.S. economies complement each other rather than overlap. For example, Taiwan is a worldwide leader in the production of high-tech electronics components such as cell phones, laptops, portable touch-screen and LCD displays, and processing chips. Taiwan also is a major importer of U.S. agricultural products, including soybeans, corn, beef, fruits and vegetables.

As Mr. Colucci points out, the implementation of free-trade agreements between the United States and its East Asian allies, including Taiwan, could constitute a much-needed shot in the arm as America gears up for economic recovery. The agreements in question are important also insofar as they will help ensure the competitiveness of America’s democratic allies in a region that thrives on global trade. Hopefully, as America’s innovative and entrepreneurial work force regains confidence in its international prowess, TUFTA and other important FTAs will be considered, signed and ratified by the Obama administration and Congress.

PHILIP SHIH

Executive officer

Press Division

Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the U.S.

Washington

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