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letters | eyes on US foreign policy

US must not overlook role for Taiwan in Trans-Pacific Partnership

President Obama stepped out of Air Force One in Washington this week after a weeklong trip to Asia.

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President Obama stepped out of Air Force One in Washington this week after a weeklong trip to Asia.

As Nicholas Burns mentioned in his April 24 op-ed “Obama’s legacy,” President Obama was recently on a trip to Asia negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a major economic linchpin of US foreign policy. My country, the Republic of China, welcomes the formation of the partnership, and hopes that it also will be included as a member of this landmark free-trade agreement.

Taiwan has long expressed interest in joining the partnership, as it could play a vital role in the economic integration of the Asia-Pacific. Last year, Taiwan’s signing of comprehensive economic cooperation agreements with New Zealand and Singapore, both current Trans-Pacific Partnership members, attests to its commitment to trade liberalization and economic reform.

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Given the scope of Taiwan’s trade and investment relationship with the United States and other economies in the Asia-Pacific, Taiwan’s inclusion in the partnership would strengthen the pact and create new opportunities for economic vitality in the United States and the region. Taiwan is the 11th-largest trade partner and the 16th-largest export market for the United States. Last year, bilateral trade between Taiwan and the United States reached $85 billion in goods and services, numbers that would only continue to grow with Taiwan’s inclusion in the partnership.

As Obama pursues the goal of regional economic integration in the Asia-Pacific, Taiwan is an ideal partner that should not be ignored.

Anne Hung

Director-general

Taipei Economic and

Cultural Office in Boston

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