Na­tion is bound to join TPP, says Tai­wan’s en­voy to U.S.

The China Post - - LOCAL -

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.

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