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
Photo: munch999/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


Taiwan voters should look before they leap on pork referendum
The decision that Taiwan’s voters reach in the December referendum on whether to reverse President Tsai Ing-wen’s decision to allow importation of U.S. pork containing ractopamine could have significant strategic reverberations.
America now has a ’One China, One Taiwan’ policy: TIFA and TIPA will strengthen it
The Biden administration continues to build on the Trump team’s unprecedented efforts to deepen US relations with Taiwan.
TIFA talks strategically affect US-Taiwan ties
Taiwan and the US on June 30 resumed the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) talks.
US senators urge gov’t to lay groundwork for FTA with Taiwan
Forty-two United States senators across party-lines have urged US Trade Representative Katherine Tai to lay the groundwork for negotiating a free trade agreement with Taiwan.
Taiwan tells US it hopes to sign free trade deal
Taiwan’s chief trade negotiator John Deng said on Wednesday he told the United States he hopes the two can sign a free trade agreement, a deal which would be a strong show of U.S. support in the face of relentless Chinese pressure against the island.
Taiwan, US to resume TIFA talks on June 30
Trade negotiations between Taiwan and the United States under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) mechanism will resume on June 30 after a four-year hiatus, according to the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT).
Trade talks good news for Taiwan
The administration of US President Joe Biden has continued its ongoing efforts to increase bilateral ties with Taiwan with the announcement about the return of US-Taiwan Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) talks.
Taiwan, US trade officials set to meet in ‘coming weeks’
Taiwan and the United States are set to convene a meeting of their Trade and Investment Framework Agreement Council in the “coming weeks,” Trade talks might be back on the agenda, picking up the momentum from a flurry of late action by the Trump administration.
China warns US against trade deal with Taiwan
China has warned the United States against pursuing a trade deal with Taiwan after Washington signalled a possible resumption of economic talks with the self-ruled island.
US lawmakers push for free trade agreement with Taiwan
Twenty-three members of the U.S. Congress penned a letter to President Joe Biden on Monday (March 22), urging him to pursue a formal free trade agreement (FTA) with Taiwan.