President Tsai urges U.S. support for Taiwan's TPP bid

President Tsai urges U.S. support for Taiwan's TPP bid

President Tsai Ing-wen on Sunday urged the United States to support Taiwan's bid for the U.S.-led trade bloc Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Tsai said Taiwan and the United States have close trade relations, noting that Taiwan was the ninth largest trade partner of the United States last year and that the U.S. has again surpassed Japan to become Taiwan's second biggest trade partner.

Taiwan's government will actively pursue the chance to participate in the second round of negotiations on the U.S.-led TPP and achieve its goal of joining the trade bloc, Tsai said during a meeting with a visiting delegation of U.S. congressmen.

The first round of negotiations on the TPP among its 12 Pacific Rim members was completed in October 2015 and the members signed the agreement on Feb. 4 this year.

The pact has yet to be ratified by the U.S. Congress, however, and with free trade a sensitive issue in this year's U.S. presidential election, there are questions whether it will be approved before the end of President Barack Obama's term.

Tsai also expressed her thanks to the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate for passing a bill in March that directed the U.S. secretary of state to develop a strategy to obtain Interpol observer status for Taiwan.

Obama later signed the bill to make it legally binding.

This has clearly shown that there is a consensus in Congress across party lines to support Taiwan's participation in international organizations, she said.

Tsai noted that former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and incumbent Secretary of State John Kerry have been positive about Taiwan-U.S. relations and have seen Taiwan as an important security and economic partner.

Tsai also expressed her thanks to the United States for abiding by the Taiwan Relations Act and its commitment to Taiwan's security.

She noted that the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a concurrent resolution in support of Taiwan, reaffirming the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances as "the cornerstones of U.S.-Taiwan relations."

The Six Assurances stipulate that the United States will not: set a date for termination of arms sales to Taiwan; alter the terms of the Taiwan Relations Act; consult with China before making decisions about U.S. arms sales to Taiwan; mediate between Taiwan and China; alter its position on the sovereignty of Taiwan; or formally recognize Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan.

This was the first time that the U. S. Congress included the Six Assurances into the resolution, which Tsai said was very "significant."

Updated : 2021-04-14 12:24 GMT+08:00