Negotiations under the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade continued to move ahead last week as the two sides work to conclude more agreements by the end of this year.

The U.S. and Taiwan launched the initiative in June 2022  after Taipei was left out of the Indo-Pacific Economic Partnership due to concerns about how its inclusion might be received in China. In August 2022 officials announced a negotiating mandate envisioning high-standard commitments and economically meaningful outcomes in areas such as trade facilitation, good regulatory practices, small and medium-sized enterprises, agriculture, standards, digital trade, labor and environment, state-owned enterprises, and non-market policies and practices.

The first proposed texts were exchanged in March 2023, and an early harvest agreement on several issues was announced in May. Since then Congress has passed, and President Biden signed into law, legislation providing congressional approval of that agreement (which the White House has said it doesn’t need) and requiring such approval of any future trade agreements under the initiative.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative reports that at the latest in-person negotiations, held in Washington Aug. 14-18, the two sides exchanged views on proposed texts covering agriculture, labor, and the environment. “The conversations were productive,” USTR said, “and officials will continue to hold discussions in the months ahead in order to reach consensus.”

For more information on U.S. trade negotiations with Taiwan and other partners and how your company could benefit, please contact Nicole Bivens Collinson at (202) 730-4956 or via email.

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