The United States and Taiwan have decided to strengthen their commercial relations which for the moment are not sealed by a bilateral agreement, the Biden administration announced on Friday. US Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai and Taiwanese Minister John Deng met and “instructed their teams to explore concrete ways to deepen the U.S.-Taiwan trade and investment relationship“USTR announced in a press release. The two senior officials must “meet again in the coming weeks to discuss the way forward“, he added.
The United States and Taiwan signed a trade and investment framework in 1994. Taiwan also joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2002, which has contributed to the growth of bilateral trade. The United States is Taiwan’s most important arms partner and supplier. The next stage of the economic relationship should be a formal trade agreement which, for the time being, is long overdue in a complex political context.
The United States, like most countries, does not officially recognize Taiwan, but it strongly supports the island whose status it promotes.democraticby contrasting it with what they deem to be aautocracyChinese. For its part, China considers Taiwan as one of its provinces and disputes any official relationship between the island of 23 million inhabitants and foreign countries. The US administration stressed on Friday that the goal was to make “advance mutual business priorities based on shared values and promote innovation“.
Katherine Tai and John Dengalso discussed the importance of supply chain resilience and traceability and their shared commitment to combating forced laboradded USTR. One of the main obstacles to a bilateral agreement was lifted at the end of August 2020 when Taiwan announced the easing of trade restrictions on beef and pork imports from the United States. But the pandemic and the crisis have slowed down the process. In 2021, exports to Taiwan accounted for 1.9% of total U.S. exports, and imports from Taiwan accounted for 2.6% of total U.S. imports, according to Commerce Department data.