There are many good reasons for President Obama to scold Democrats on their trade-pact stance, but the president has yet to convince lawmakers that a regional free-trade agreement without Taiwan would be unthinkable (“Liberal opposition mounts to free-trade deal,” 2, May 8). If this regional system is going to cover all 50-plus countries around the Pacific Rim, the absence of Taiwan will render the regional integration disadvantageous to American interests.
The right TPP deal must be judged not only by its impact on U.S. economic interests, but also by the impact it will have on U.S. businesses in competing in the increasing flow of globalized trade. Bilateral trade between the United States and Taiwan reached $67.4 billion in 2014, making Taiwan the United States’ 10th largest trading partner. Taiwan already creates more than 500,000 jobs in the United States annually through trade and investment.
As a dynamic and longtime U.S. ally devoted to regional peace and stability, Taiwan’s inclusion in TPP strengthens U.S. ties with another like-minded economy in Asia. Washington must support Taiwan’s membership, which could have a major impact on the ability of U.S. businesses to compete on a level playing field. Taiwan’s participation in the TPP is good for the American people and the American economy.
Overseas Community Affairs Council of Republic of China (Taiwan) in the United States
Potomac Falls, Va.