Paul Cassingham on Taiwan’s Path to TPP

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a multinational trade agreement between 12 Pacific Rim nations that has significant implications for Taiwan’s economic future.

One of AmCham Taipei’s top priorities this year is encouraging the Taiwan Government to coordinate its efforts towards meeting the standards required for TPP accession – an initiative emphasized in the 2016 AmCham White Paper.

Paul Cassingham, Senior Legal Consultant at Eiger as well as AmCham’s former Chairman and current Government Relations Committee Chair, has studied the TPP’s text with the aim of gaining a clearer understanding of exactly what impact the trade deal might have on Taiwan, if it comes into effect.

On August 16, he presented his findings to an audience at the AmCham Lincoln Room, at a Chamber event titled “TPP: Opportunities and Challenges for Taiwan”.

A brief summary of key points is available below.

Cassingham also authored an article on TPP for TOPICS Magazine, the Chamber’s monthly publication, which goes into greater detail on the issues Taiwan faces. Read it here:
“Taiwan’s Restrictions on PRC Investment – A Sleeping TPP Issue?”

This year’s AmCham Taipei Doorknock delegation also stressed the importance – for both Taiwan and the U.S. – of Taiwan entering the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) when it expands beyond the original 12 members. Read a full report here:
2016 “Washington Doorknock” Focuses on TPP


Highlighted points from Mr. Cassingham’s presentation:

Taiwan & TPP Background

  • TPP Signatories include: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam.
  • Taiwan would be the 6th largest and 4th wealthiest economy in the TPP if it joined
  • Main trade benefit of TPP would be the reduction or elimination of most import duties among TPP economies

Why Join? 

  • If Taiwan doesn’t join TPP, it would be unable to compete with TPP exporters that benefit from reduced import duties
  • The negative impact is multiplied for Taiwan’s intermediate goods exports (70% of total)

Some Areas of focus for Taiwan

  • Improving procedures for technical regulations and reduction of technical barriers to trade. For example:
    • TPP members must publish proposed regulations 60 days in advance for public comment
    • TPP members must respond to significant issues raised regarding proposed regulation
  • Foreign investors must be allowed to remit investment cash freely into and out of Taiwan.
  • Cross-strait relations may play a role in whether or not Taiwan can gain entry into the TPP

AmCham Taipei offers its sincere thanks to Paul Cassingham for his time and effort spent studying the TPP text, and for presenting his findings to Chamber guests and community members.

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