TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) proposed by U.S. President Joe Biden cannot become a complete economic group if Taiwan is the only country not included, the government’s top trade negotiator said Tuesday (June 7).
After it became clear last month that Taipei would not be invited to join the IPEF, Taiwan and the U.S. announced June 1 that they would launch a bilateral Initiative on 21st-Century Trade, which some officials said would produce quicker results than joining a multilateral body such as the IPEF.
Speaking in a broadcast interview Tuesday, Minister without Portfolio John Deng (鄧振中) said he believed that other members, rather than the U.S., were responsible for keeping Taiwan out because they feared complications if Taipei were included.
He emphasized that Taiwan possessed the qualifications and the advantages needed to join IPEF, CNA reported. Four areas of cooperation including trade, supply chains, basic infrastructure, and taxes were included in both the IPEF and the Initiative on 21st-Century Trade, he said.
Deng pointed out that if Taiwan did not join the IPEF, the new group could not become a complete economic framework. He concluded that Taiwan's chances of joining the new multi-country trade body are still strong, and the U.S. will eventually reach the right decision.