US senator supports Taiwan's bid for TPP inclusion
By Katherine Wei ,The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Briefing local media outlets on the future of the economic relationship between Taiwan and the United States, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez voiced his support for Taiwan to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) yesterday.
August 17, 2013, 12:04 am TWN
Menendez, the highest ranking U.S. Congressional official to visit Taiwan in recent years, was invited to speak at the American Chamber of Commerce Taipei's Special Luncheon.
Menendez reiterated his support for Taiwan's future efforts to enter the TPP, provided that Taiwan is ready to agree to a comprehensive pact on a range of issues, which includes the labor environment, currency manipulation and intellectual property rights.
Menendez also spoke about his positive view of the trade and investment agreements between the two nations, adding that the Asia-Pacific proves to hold great economic potential.
Menendez may be best known to some Taiwanese for his role as co-chairman to the Senate Taiwan Caucus (參院台灣連線) from 2009 onward.
By 2025, the Asia-Pacific region will account for almost half of the world's economic trade and investments, the New Jersey senator noted, also citing statistics from years 2010 and 2011. “In 2010, U.S. exports to the Asia-Pacific region totaled US$775 billion ... In 2011, it totaled US$895 billion, accounting for 60 percent of U.S. exports. The figure may become US$1 trillion in the near future,” said Menendez.
“For the rest of the century and beyond, much of the strategic and political and economic future of the world will likely be shaped by the decisions made in Washington and the capitals of this region over the next four to five years,” said Menendez, who stressed the importance of collaboration between the U.S. and Taiwan.
Menendez Voices Support for TIFA
When he met with President Ma Ying-jeou during the president's short visit to the U.S. this week, Menendez relayed his expectations of a stronger economic partnership between the two nations. “I am pleased to resume talks on the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA),” Menendez stated.
Menendez spoke of the recent reforms that Taiwan has gone through, including opening up the local government procurement market after joining the WTO's Agreement on Government Procurement — a decision he applauds. Menendez also expressed confidence in U.S. investors successfully overcoming various limits and bans on foreign investment in Taiwan.
United States Senator Robert Menendez speaks at the American Chamber of Commerce's Special Luncheon in Taipei, yesterday. Menendez delivered his perspectives on the future of the ...