Background

The U.S. and Taiwan continued to push forward this week an initiative to deepen bilateral trade relations.

The two sides launched in June the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade after the U.S. left Taiwan out of the Indo-Pacific Economic Partnership due to concerns about how its inclusion might be received in China. In August 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 Office of the U.S. Trade Representative reports that during a “productive” two-day meeting in New York City this week the two sides “exchanged views on the key concepts to be addressed in several of the trade areas set out in the negotiating mandate.” Additional meetings are planned in the near future, though no further details were given.

Taiwan’s Office of Trade Negotiations said in a statement that it has three goals for the talks: shaping a competitive and level playing field for investors, reducing trade costs, and expanding overseas markets for SMEs.

The talks come amid continued tensions between China and the U.S., which identified Beijing as its top competitor in a recent national security strategy and has started restricting exports to China of high-tech items that could contribute to its military modernization. President Joe Biden said he intends to discuss Taiwan, trade, and other issues with Chinese President Xi Jinping during an anticipated bilateral meeting in Indonesia later this month.

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

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