Principal Kevin Nealer publishes report: Taiwan and Regional Trade Organization
Kevin Nealer, Principal of the Scowcroft Group, and Margaux Fimbres, US Department of Energy (and former Scowcroft Group intern) recently penned Taiwan and Regional Trade Organizations, An Urgent Need for Fresh Ideas.
Taiwan is an important exporter and investor in the Asia-Pacific, but its economic role in the region is diluted by its exclusion from regional trade deals, which have increased in both number and significance. As more free trade and regional trade agreements are signed, Taiwan needs to find ways to knit itself into the region's economic and commercial fabric.
The most significant--and timely--region-wide trade liberalization deal is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). For Taiwan, the benefits of TPP membership would be twofold: (1) TPP standards would necessitate broad reforms, making the island more competitive, and (2) membership would create trade diversification, thereby reducing economic dependence on the mainland. Taiwan now has an opportunity to take the necessary steps toward membership. If it does, the island will improve its competitive position in the region. But if it remains a bystander, its competitiveness will erode. This essay provides an overall assessment of Taiwan's prospects for joining the TPP and recommends options for how Taiwan can overcome the challenges related to gaining membership