Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis said the United States welcomes recent steps Taiwan has taken to reopen its market to U.S. beef, but is waiting to see how that is implemented before resuming talks to deepen trade ties.
U.S. frustration with Taiwan over beef trade prompted Washington a few years ago to suspend bilateral talks under a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).
Washington will be evaluating over the next several months whether to restart the TIFA talks, Marantis said.
He acknowledged Taiwan's long-term interest in joining the TPP, but said it was not an issue that current members had to confront yet.
Schott said it was unlikely Taiwan would become a member of the TPP talks because of the political problems that would create with China, which regards Taiwan as part of its territory.
Japan has also been considering joining talks on the TPP.
Edward Lincoln, a professor and expert on Japan at George Washington University, said it was doubtful Tokyo would join the negotiations because of strong domestic opposition.