AmCham chairman sees better chance for Taiwan to join TPP
CNATAIPEI -- The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Taipei said Tuesday that its annual “door-knock” mission to Washington D.C. last week found improved prospects for Taiwan to join the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade bloc.
September 18, 2013, 12:11 am TWN
“In general, we found a much more positive atmosphere toward Taiwan this time compared to the past few years,” said AmCham Chairman Alan Eusden, who led a 20-member delegation on “door-knock” visits to government offices and think tanks in Washington from Sept. 9-13.
“The fact that the dispute over U.S. beef imports has been largely resolved and the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) process rejuvenated has made a big difference in attitudes toward Taiwan,” he said in a statement.
Taiwan has been hoping to join the TPP and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which it believes will ultimately lead to its inclusion in regional economic integration.
Despite a more positive atmosphere, however, it would require much more work for Taiwan to enter the TPP, according to AmCham.
Taiwan's entry to the TPP is a “realistic possibility, but only if Taiwan starts now to significantly demonstrate its willingness to liberalize its trade and investment regime,” AmCham said, citing a majority of the sources it contacted in Washington.
“They noted that Taiwan's political isolation, while not a barrier in itself to TPP entry, means that this country will need to work harder to present a convincing case to the existing members, who will have to agree unanimously to admit any additional negotiating parties in future rounds,” AmCham said.
Meanwhile, it said TPP negotiations among the current 12 participating countries are making good progress and the first round of negotiations is likely to be completed by the end of 2013 or early next year.