Washington, D.C. – U.S. and Taiwan trade authorities concluded the tenth Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council meeting under the auspices of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO). Ambassador Robert Holleyman, Deputy United States Trade Representative, and Wang Mei-hua, Taiwan’s Vice Minister of Economic Affairs, co-led the discussions to enhance the longstanding trade and investment relationship between the United States and Taiwan. Other participants and contributors included AIT and the U.S. Departments of State, Agriculture, Commerce and the Copyright Office.
The TIFA is the key forum for trade dialogue between the United States and Taiwan authorities and covers the broad range of trade and investment issues important to U.S. and Taiwan stakeholders. The U.S. authorities welcomed the concrete steps taken by Taiwan after the conclusion of the 2015 TIFA Council meeting to follow through on important commitments related to intellectual property (IP) protection and enforcement. Taiwan authorities also highlighted progress in addressing technical barriers to trade and fostering transparency in matters related to trade and investment.
At the meeting, the U.S. authorities pressed Taiwan for expeditious resolution of agricultural trade issues, including removal of longstanding and unwarranted barriers to U.S. beef and pork, which is necessary for any deepening of our trade relationship. In the area of IP protection and enforcement, the TIFA talks took stock of progress on pharmaceutical IP protection and committed to strengthen engagement on Taiwan’s intellectual property rights legislation, promoting the use of legitimate educational materials, and on enforcement cooperation. Both sides welcomed the strong exchanges already conducted between the two patent offices and look forward to deepening this cooperation for the benefit of U.S. and Taiwan rights holders and patent applicants. The two sides also pledged to deepen dialogue to streamline time-to-market of medical devices and to improve transparency and procedural fairness in trade and investment matters. The Taiwan authorities provided updates on its regional and multilateral initiatives and highlighted its close cooperation with the United States on various initiatives in the WTO.
The United States and Taiwan have a long-standing and vibrant trade relationship. Taiwan is our 9th largest goods trading partner and a top-10 destination for U.S. agricultural and food exports. U.S. goods and services trade with Taiwan totaled an estimated $86.7 billion in 2015. The TIFA, signed in 1994 under the auspices of AIT and TECRO, provides the principal mechanism for trade dialogue between the United States and Taiwan authorities to expand trade and investment links and deepen cooperation.