Nation is bound to join TPP, says Taiwan’s envoy to U.S.
Taiwan has repeatedly expressed its interest in joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and according to its representative to the United States, the goal will eventually be achieved because Taiwan is “too important to ignore.”
“Joining the TPP is bound to happen,” Shen Lyu- shun said Thursday in response to questions from reporters on Taiwan- U. S. trade relations after the latest round of talks under the bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) concluded in Taipei earlier in the day.
Taiwan is the U.S.’s 10th largest trade partner in the world and the sixth largest in the AsiaPacific region, Shen said.
“How could the 6th (ranked trading partner) among 52 countries or territories in the AsiaPacific be ignored?” he said.
The diplomat said his American friends often ask how big the Chinese market is (referring to U.S. export markets), and get answers of 50 or even 100 times the size of Taiwan’s.
“But in fact, it is only 4.3 times,” Shen said, indicating that “Taiwan is too big to ignore.”
Figuring that the U. S. has taken notice, Shen predicted that Taiwan is bound to join the TPP, which is still being negotiated by 12 countries: the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
Shen argued that the TPP would not be complete if Taiwan were cast aside. “If Taiwan is out, it will harm the interests of the U.S. and other countries,” he said.
Ministers from the 12 nations negotiating the TPP are currently in Atlanta hoping to finalize the partnership.
Fears are that if a consensus cannot be reached by the end of the year, the negotiations will face greater resistance in 2016, which is an election year in the U.S.