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.
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.