Focus Taiwan | 19 August 2023
Taiwan, US commence second-round trade talks
Washington/ Taipei, Aug. 18 (CNA) Taiwan and the United States have kicked off their second round of negotiations under a bilateral trade initiative, holding days of in-person talks on issues related to agriculture, labor and the environment in Washington.
The two sides "exchanged views on proposed texts covering agriculture, labor, and the environment" during their talks under the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade from Monday to Friday this week, the office of the United States Trade Representative said in a press release on Friday.
The release did not provide further details, saying only that discussions were "productive" and that both sides agreed to continue their talks "in the months ahead in order to reach consensus."
In a separate press release, Taiwan’s Office of Trade Negotiations said the two sides discussed potential ways to promote bilateral trade in agriculture and food security through transparent regulations.
Both sides also exchanged ideas on how to ensure labor rights are in step with international standards, as well as how to promote green enterprises, decarbonise the economy and step up conservation efforts, the office said.
The talks, held in person in Washington, were headed by Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Terry McCartin and Taiwan’s deputy trade representative Yang Jen-ni (楊珍妮).
They came two months after Taipei and Washington signed an initial agreement under the initiative, covering issues such as customs and border procedures, regulatory practices and small and medium-sized businesses, in a bid to boost bilateral trade and investment.
Launched in June 2022, the initiative also includes other mandates, including digital trade, state-owned enterprises and non-market policies and practices.
It was created against the backdrop of Taiwan’s exclusion from the U.S.-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity, with Washington and Taipei saying they hoped to achieve "a trade agreement with high-standard commitments and economically meaningful outcomes."
(By Chiang Chin-yeh and Teng Pei-ju)