Taiwan tells US it hopes to sign free trade deal, Auto News, ET Auto
New Delhi: Taiwan’s chief negotiator John Deng said on Wednesday he told the United States he hoped the two could sign a free trade deal, a deal that would be a strong show of support American in the face of constant Chinese pressure against the island.
The two sides virtually held the long-delayed talks on the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, or TIFA. These were blocked after the departure of former US President Barack Obama in 2016 and his successor Donald Trump’s trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, focused his attention on China, the world’s second-largest economy.
Deng told reporters that he directly raised the issue of a free trade agreement during the eight-hour talks.
“We have expressed to the United States that Taiwan hopes to sign a trade agreement,” he said. “We believe that if we keep working hard, we will reach our goal someday.”
The US Trade Representative’s office said in the talks that US officials have stressed the importance of the US-Taiwan trade relationship, and both sides have expressed support for joint work to improve the security and resilience of the chain. supply.
The Biden administration has decided to reaffirm its commitment to the democratically ruled island in the face of pressure from Beijing to try to assert its sovereignty.
Taiwan has long sought a free trade deal with the United States, although such a deal with Taiwan would likely irritate Beijing, which claims the island is Chinese territory and has no right to maintain relations. from state to state.
A bipartisan group of 42 U.S. senators wrote this week to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, asking her to “take action to begin laying the groundwork for negotiating a free trade agreement (FTA) or ‘another preliminary deal with Taiwan,’ according to a copy of the letter seen by Reuters.
“Maintaining US economic influence in the region and reducing Taiwan’s dependence on China are essential to ensure the region remains free and open,” the letter said.
Deng’s deputy Yang Jen-ni said the two had also discussed expanding COVID-19 vaccine supplies through technology sharing or licensed production.
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.
Taiwan is a major producer of semiconductors, the shortage of which has disrupted supply chains around the world and affected automakers in particular, regarding Washington, which has pushed Taiwan to ramp up production.
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.