Taiwan has shot at TPP: Ex-AIT head
CNATAIPEI -- There is a chance that Taiwan can enter the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) if certain steps are taken in the correct order, former American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman Richard Bush said in a recent paper.
October 9, 2013, 12:07 am TWN
The odds on Taiwan's bid to join the United States-led trade group will be shortened if the twelve countries that are party to the current TPP negotiations reach an agreement on new rules, Bush said in an analysis published on The Brookings Institution's website.
With such an agreement in place, Taiwan would be able to position itself to gain inclusion, but the Taiwanese public would first have to reach a broad political consensus on why TPP membership is vital to Taiwan's long-term economic competitiveness, Bush said.
Another factor is that Taiwan needs to restore its credibility with key trading partners so the global community knows Taiwan is serious about its commitments, he said.
Citing the case of market access for American beef, Bush said it indicated “the difficulties Taiwan's political leadership has faced in securing and sustaining domestic approval for external commitments.”
While Taiwan and the U.S. had reached a market access agreement in 2009, a series of local political issues prevented Taiwan from importing U.S. beef until last year, he said.
Further, Bush said, Taiwan should develop a negotiating position and strategy for TPP, ideally to be followed by China opting for fundamental economic reform.
Lastly, Taiwan could leverage China's accommodation since China has become more open to the TPP and may be modulating its view on TPP membership, according to Bush.
There have been suggestions that the World Trade Organization (WTO) model could be followed so that Taiwan and China could participate in the TPP simultaneously, he said.