bilaterals.org logo
bilaterals.org logo

US-Taiwan

The discussion around a possible bilateral free trade agreement between Taiwan and the US has been drawn out for years, with Taiwan requesting and the US acting lukewarm toward the idea.

At stake in any kind of bilateral trade or investment deal here is, first and foremost, the political standing of Taiwan vis-a-vis China and the rest of world. An FTA with Washington would amount to US recognition of Taiwan’s sovereignty and independence from China. This goes against Chinese policy and could trigger military action. The US adheres to Beijing’s "one China" policy while it maintains unofficial relations with Taiwan.

The economics of a potential deal are another story. Taiwan is the US’ eighth largest trading partner, and sixth largest importer of US agricultural goods, and wants its own terms of access to US markets. But the US insists that the actual benefits of an FTA for Taiwan would not be important, even though Washington constantly pressures Taiwan to improve its policies on electronic commerce, government procurement, intellectual property, food safety and US beef for the benefit of American corporations.

In the meantime, the two governments, through their respective proxy agencies, signed a sort of Trade and Investment Framework Agreement in 1994 and conduct discussions through the TIFA Council.

last update: May 2012


USDA to send trade mission in April
The US has long criticized Taiwan’s zero-tolerance policy regarding meat product imports and views Taiwan’s ractopamine ban as a trade barrier.
Taiwan wants to sign free trade deal with US: foreign minister
Foreign Minister Joseph Wu made a recorded video for a conference organized by a Washington-based research institute on Sept. 12.
TIFA talks unlikely this year: minister
Even if vacant posts in Washington are filled and quickly approved, it would take time to process the appointments, Minister Without Portfolio John Deng said.
US unhappy over lack of progress on pork imports
The US has expressed disappointment with a lack of progress on issues related to US pork imports to Taiwan in the latest round of talks under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement.
Taipei, Washington to hold latest round of TIFA meetings
The discussions are to focus on areas including medical devices, pharmaceuticals, intellectual property rights and technical trade barriers
Taiwan to stand firm on US pork ractopamine ban: official
Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture said that it will insist that the country maintain a ban on pork imported from the United States containing traces of leanness-enhancing drug ractopamine
Latest TIFA talks ’productive’: US
The latest round of trade talks between Taiwan and the U.S. under the bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) made much ground in a number of areas but both sides have yet to reach consensus on issues such as U.S. pork imports.
TIFA talks ignore interests of ordinary citizens: groups
The latest round of Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) talks with the US ignores the interests of ordinary citizens, labor activists said yesterday.
Taiwan, US aim for TIFA talks by year end: US official
Taiwan and the United States are working toward holding the next round of talks under the bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA)
Premier vows to keep ban on US pork containing ractopamine
Taiwan’s Premier Jiang Yi-hua said Monday that the ban on US pork containing leanness-enhancing drugs will "definitely" not be lifted while he is in office. Jiang was speaking two weeks before the issue is likely to be put on the agenda of an important round of trade talks between Taiwan and the United States.