WASHINGTON – The United States and Taiwan held the eleventh Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council meeting yesterday under the auspices of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO). Assistant United States Trade Representative Terry McCartin and Jen-ni Yang, Deputy Trade Representative from Taiwan’s Office of Trade Negotiations, co-led the discussions, which were held virtually and focused on enhancing the longstanding trade and investment relationship between the United States and Taiwan. Other U.S. participants and contributors included AIT and the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services, Labor, State and Treasury.
The TIFA establishes TIFA Council meetings as the key mechanism for trade and investment dialogue between the U.S. and Taiwan authorities, and covers a broad range of issues important to U.S. and Taiwan stakeholders.
At the TIFA Council meeting, U.S. officials emphasized the importance of the U.S.-Taiwan trade and investment relationship and expressed a desire for stronger and more consistent engagement going forward. The U.S. discussed the Biden-Harris Administration’s worker-centered trade policy, where workers have a seat at the table, strong labor standards are enforced, and prosperity is broadly shared. In addition, the U.S. officials discussed opportunities for the United States and Taiwan to work together on key trade and environmental issues such as combatting wildlife trafficking and exploring trade tools to tackle the climate crisis.
Both sides welcomed the resumption of high-level trade engagement and expressed a desire to work closely together, not only on ways to deepen the U.S.-Taiwan trade and investment relationship but also as democratic partners in support of a worker-centered trade policy and in seeking to combat forced labor in global supply chains. For that purpose, the two sides agreed to the formation of a new Labor Working Group under the TIFA.
The two sides highlighted cooperation between the United States and Taiwan in international fora such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum and the World Trade Organization and discussed the importance of secure and resilient supply chains. Both sides also emphasized Taiwan’s role as a partner with the United States in reforming the multilateral trading system and expressed support for joint work to enhance critical supply chain security and resilience.
During the TIFA Council meeting, the U.S. and Taiwan authorities also discussed a range of specific trade and investment issues. The two sides recognized progress that has been made in several areas, such as Taiwan’s enforcement of trade secrets protections, and upcoming changes to Taiwan’s medical device approval process. In addition, the U.S. and Taiwan authorities committed to intensify engagement aimed at addressing outstanding trade concerns, including with regard to market access barriers facing U.S. beef and pork producers, as well as concerns raised by the U.S. in areas such as copyright legislation, digital piracy, financial services, investment and regulatory transparency.
In support of their commitment to intensified engagement, the two sides agreed to convene meetings of several TIFA working groups, including the Agriculture Working Group, the Intellectual Property Working Group, the Technical Barriers to Trade Working Group and the Investment Working Group, as well as other working-level meetings as necessary.
The United States and Taiwan have a long-standing and vibrant trade relationship. Taiwan is the United States’ 9th largest goods trading partner, with two-way goods trade totaling $90.9 billion in 2020. Goods and services trade between the United States and Taiwan totaled $106 billion in 2020.
The U.S.-Taiwan TIFA was signed in 1994 under the auspices of AIT and TECRO.