Over the last 50 years, Taiwan has transformed itself from a developing society into an advanced economy and vibrant democracy. But because of political issues it remains mostly excluded from the wave trade agreements sweeping the Asia Pacific region. This exclusion threatens to shield Taiwan from the forces driving economic liberalization and to undermine its competitiveness. In a recent series of papers, Brookings experts Richard Bush and Joshua Meltzer argue that participating in trade agreements―and in particular the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)―is key for Taiwan, not only for the market access opportunities but as an impetus for enhanced economic policies. TPP membership for Taiwan would also benefit the regional and global trading systems, ensuring inclusion for a major trade partner and a critical link in global supply chains.
On November 20, the Center for East Asia Policy Studies (CEAP) hosted a public seminar examining Taiwan’s prospects for and implications of participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The seminar brought together leading experts and practitioners from the United States and Taiwan to identify and analyze the internal and external obstacles to Taiwan’s participation in TPP, and also the expected results of that participation. Panelists discussed how the TPP will impact Taiwan and how Taiwan’s participation could shape this and other multilateral trade agreements.