- - Wednesday, August 6, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The United States commitment to building an ambitious, comprehensive and high-quality Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is largely welcomed by the Asian community. As the United States looks to the Asia-Pacic, Taiwan presents a not-to-be-missed opportunity for economic partnership. However, a regional free-trade agreement without Taiwan would be unthinkable for the United States, which would render the regional integration incomplete and ineffective to the disadvantage of American interest.

Taiwan has actively sought the support of its key trade partners, including the United States, in its effort to join the regional free-trade bloc and avoid being marginalized amid the trend toward globalization. Taiwan needs the United States on its side because it is a key member of the TPP trade bloc. The TPP is a proposed regional free-trade bloc being negotiated by the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

Taiwan is a vibrant, effective, functioning democracy, and it is now ready to work proactively with the United States to contribute to the high standards of the TPP. The bilateral trade between Taiwan and the United States reached $63.6 billion in 2013. In the first quarter of 2014, Taiwan became the 11th-largest U.S. trading partner globally. Washington’s support for Taiwan’s membership would make trans-Pacific trade more open, which is why the United States should support Taiwan’s ultimate entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Taiwan’s inclusion would benefit the United States and other members.

KENT WANG

Advisory commissioner

Overseas Chinese Affairs Council

Potomac Falls, Va.

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