The TPP is a free-trade agreement currently being negotiated between twelve countries: the United States, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, and Japan. If agreed to, it would be one of the largest “free trade” agreements in US history. After WikiLeaks released the intellectual property chapter of the text on November 14, the TPP has run into serious resistance due to public scrutiny. Indeed, 151 Democrats and twenty-three Republicans in the US House of Representatives signed letters to the US’ chief negotiators expressing opposition to a “Fast Track” procedure for voting on the proposed agreement. Lost in the US domestic battle is what the TPP means for Asian allies, especially Taiwan. Taiwan is not part of the twelve-nation agreement, but cwants to be. Recently, former Taiwanese Vice President Vicent Siew said that not only should the US and Taiwan renew bilateral trade negotiations, but Taiwan should be invited to join the TPP. As Taiwan claims, joining the TPP would not only contribute to the US’ initiative to rebalance its Asia policy, but it would also be a positive extension of the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979.

To discuss the TPP and its impact on the region and Taiwan, the Atlantic Council has assembled top thinkers and policymakers on this issue. This event is part of the Asia Security Initiative’s Cross-Straits series, which examines strategic and current affairs surrounding cross-straits relations.

Dr. Richard Bush
Director, Center for East Asia Policy Studies
Brookings Institution

Mr. Clyde Prestowitz
Economic Strategy Institute

Mr. James Politi
US Economics and Trade Correspondent
Financial Times