February 27, 2012

THE GREATER EAST ASIAN CO-OPERATION ANGLOSPHERE:

A Free Trade Agenda For the U.S. and Taiwan (Winston Wong, 2/26/12, Forbes)

With a "dynamic capitalist economy," as the U.S. CIA World Factbook describes it - with nearly $274 billion (U.S.) in exports in 2010 - Taiwan obviously would benefit from additional free trade agreements. And none would be more appropriate than a U.S.-Taiwan FTA.

For now that seems unlikely, though there is considerable political support for such an agreement. Speaking last fall in Washington, U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman, a former Democratic vice presidential candidate, called on the Obama administration specifically to negotiate such an agreement with Taiwan. "There's an odd irony here," Lieberman said. That is: "Taiwan's trade relations with mainland China are now arguably more free than their trade relations with the United States."

This shouldn't be.

In 2010, the United States exported an estimated $26 billion in goods and services to Taiwan, while importing some $36 billion worth of Made in Taiwan electronics, plastics and other goods, making Taiwan America's ninth-largest trading partner.

As an interim step many have suggested adding Taiwan to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Agreement negotiations, which currently include Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. That would be a good start, but no substitute for a bilateral U.S.-Taiwan FTA or a Taiwan-NAFTA agreement.
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Posted by at February 27, 2012 6:42 AM
  

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