Taiwan, U.S. to kick off trade negotiations in fall

Taiwan and the United States are scheduled to hold the first round of negotiations this fall on an ambitious 11-area trade initiative with the aim of working toward a trade agreement.

The U.S. and Taiwan reached a consensus on Aug. 17 on the negotiating mandate for the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade announced on June 1, 2022, the Office of United States Trade Representative (USTR) said in a statement Wednesday.

The negotiations will deepen bilateral trade and investment relationship, advance mutual trade priorities based on shared values, and promote innovation and inclusive economic growth for workers and businesses in both Taiwan and the United States, U.S. Deputy Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi said.

"We plan to pursue an ambitious schedule for achieving high-standard commitments and meaningful outcomes covering the 11 trade areas in the negotiating mandate that will help build a fairer, more prosperous, and resilient 21st-century economy," Bianchi said.

During the past two months of intensive discussions between Taiwan and the U.S. in preparations for the negotiations, both sides have shown a high level of ambition, and hope to deliver concrete results in a trade agreement as soon as possible, Taiwan's Office of Trade Negotiations said in a statement Thursday.

The U.S. and Taiwan announced their intent to develop an ambitious roadmap for negotiations under the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade on June 1.

The 11 trade areas to be addressed in the negotiations include trade facilitation, good regulatory practices, anti-corruption, small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SME), agriculture, standards, digital trade, labor, environment, state-owned enterprises, and nonmarket policies and practices.

The initiative was unveiled by U.S. President Joe Biden after Taiwan was excluded from the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, a U.S.-led multilateral partnership involving 12 other countries, which has been touted as a counterweight to China's ambitions in the region.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel