US, Taiwanese officials discuss trade, schedule meeting “in coming weeks” -USTR
WASHINGTON -United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Thursday discussed trade and investment issues with Taiwanese Minister John Deng and agreed to convene a meeting of the Council of the Framework Agreement on Trade and ‘investment “in the coming weeks,” Tai’s office said in a statement.
“Ambassador Tai stressed the importance of the trade and investment relationship between the United States and Taiwan and explained the worker-centric trade priorities of the Biden-Harris administration,” USTR mentionned.
Taiwan had been “cautiously optimistic” about the resumption of high-level trade talks with Washington this year after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken signaled a possible resumption on Monday.
The Biden administration has decided to reaffirm its firm commitment to the island claimed by China and democratically governed in the face of pressure from Beijing to try to assert its sovereignty.
Taiwan has long aspired to a free trade deal with the United States, but trade and investment talks between the two have stalled since the Obama administration.
A senior Taiwanese economy ministry official told Reuters he hoped to resume the trade and investment framework agreement (TIFA) speaks this year.
the USTR The statement did not provide a specific schedule for the meeting, which it said would be placed under the auspices of the American Institute in Taiwan and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States.
the TIFA Talks have stalled after former President Barack Obama stepped down in 2016 and his successor Donald Trump’s trade representative Robert Lighthizer imposed tariffs on China, the world’s second-largest economy.
Such an agreement with Taiwan is likely to irritate China.
While Taiwan is a member of the World Trade Organization, many countries are reluctant to sign trade deals with the tech powerhouse for fear of China’s objections, although Taiwan has concluded free trade agreements with Singapore and New Zealand. -Zeeland.
Last year, the Taiwanese government lifted the import ban on pork containing a leanness-improving additive, ractopamine, removing a major obstacle to a deal with Washington.
However, Taiwan will hold a referendum at the end of August on whether to resume the import ban on pork containing ractopamine. The result could affect trade negotiations with Washington.