With Trump in power, US might put pressure on Taiwan: scholar


TAIPEI — The United States could put heavy pressure on Taiwan in the future because with Donald Trump as president, Washington might exert pressure on Taipei, not just on trade and economic issues, but also on issues related to arms sales and currency policy, a scholar said Tuesday.

After Trump decided not to enter the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a regional economic bloc, the United States is sure to engage in free trade or economic cooperation talks with its key trade partners on a one-to-one basis, said Huang Kwei-bo, secretary-general of the non-profit Association of Foreign Relations.

With its huge trade volume with the U.S., he believes Taiwan is very likely to be included in the U.S.’s first round of free trade negotiations.

Given that the U.S. cares very much about its pork and other agricultural exports, as well as intellectual property rights protection for medical treatment devices and equipment, Taiwan could be forced to make concessions in trade talks between the two countries, Huang said during a public hearing at the Legislative Yuan on Trump’s impact on global politics, the economy, and the Asia-Pacific situation.

The associate professor in diplomacy at National Chengchi University also warned that at a time when cross-Taiwan Strait relations have cooled, Washington might not just put pressure on Taipei on trade and economic issues but also on arms sales, and at the same time might accuse Taiwan of manipulating currency exchanges.

If Trump decides to shoot Taiwan with these “three arrows,” “it will put very heavy pressure on (Taiwan’s) government,” Huang said.