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U.S. Sees Progress in Trade Talks with Taiwan

Monday, October 05, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The ninth meeting of U.S. and Taiwanese officials under a bilateral trade and investment framework agreement illustrated that the two sides are continuing their work to resolve trade irritants as they consider future initiatives such as a bilateral investment agreement and Taiwan’s potential participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

A press release from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative states that the talks in Taipei last week highlighted Taiwan’s progress over the past 18 months on the following issues.

- improving the protection and enforcement of intellectual property, including by increasing human and financial resources for IPR enforcement authorities, addressing piracy occurring in and around university campuses and taking steps to foster innovation in the pharmaceutical sector

- following through on commitments related to pharmaceuticals, though further engagement is needed on improving the time-to-market of medical devices, including streamlining regulatory approvals

- addressing regulatory complexities for the registration of chemical substances

- relaxing restrictions on offshore data centers for financial institutions

On the other hand, USTR said more work is needed to develop a robust set of priority investment issues to improve Taiwan’s investment climate, deepen cooperation on trade secrets protection, and secure meaningful progress on a range of agricultural issues. The latter include Taiwan’s ban on imports of U.S. pork containing the additive ractopamine, which reportedly was not on the TIFA meeting agenda because Taiwan’s position remains unchanged.

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