Taiwan's US envoy pledges to push for TPP bid
January 3, 2014, 12:02 am TWN
WASHINGTON -- Taipei will continue to work to promote its economic and trade relations with the United States in 2014, with a focus on pushing for Taiwan's participation in the U.S.-backed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Taiwan's representative to the United States said yesterday.
To create conditions favorable for Taiwan's inclusion in regional economic integration initiatives, the country also needs to strengthen its preparations for trade liberalization, King Pu-tsung told reporters while attending a New Year's Day flag-raising ceremony held by the Taiwanese expatriate community in Washington, D.C.
Taiwan has on many occasions urged the U.S. government to support its bid to join the TPP, a trade agreement currently being negotiated among 12 Pacific Rim countries.
In his New Year's Day address, President Ma Ying-jeou reiterated that his administration will work toward the goals of gaining membership for Taiwan in the TPP as well as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), as part of the government's efforts to boost the country's economy.
RCEP is another free trade agreement being negotiated among the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and their FTA partners, which include Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.
According to a recently published article by Evan Feigenbaum, a non-resident senior associate in the Asia Program at the U.S.-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, if the TPP is concluded in 2014, it will set a new competitive standard in Asia.
Major countries, including China, will need to adapt as the agreement begins to affect their economies, Feigenbaum said.
Although many people see the TPP and RCEP as competitors, he predicted that competition between the two models “may change in 2014, as China has begun to take an interest in the TPP.”
He noted that Chinese reformers view external pressure, such as the pressure that the membership requirements of the TPP would entail, as a way to promote change at home.