Agreement comes less than one year after launch of U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade
WASHINGTON – United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai today announced that the United States and Taiwan, under the auspices of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO), have concluded negotiations on the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade.
“This accomplishment represents an important step forward in strengthening the U.S.-Taiwan economic relationship,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai. “It demonstrates how we can work together and advance mutual trade priorities on behalf of our people. We look forward to continuing these negotiations and finalizing a robust and high-standard trade agreement that tackles pressing 21st century economic challenges.”
The first agreement under the initiative covers the areas of customs administration and trade facilitation, good regulatory practices, services domestic regulation, anticorruption, and small and medium-sized enterprises. Through these provisions, U.S. businesses will be able to bring more products to Taiwan and Taiwanese customers, while creating more transparent and streamlined regulatory procedures that can facilitate investment and economic opportunities in both markets, particularly for small- and medium-sized enterprises. Once signed, this agreement will deepen the trading partnership and enhance U.S.-Taiwan trade flows in order to promote innovation and inclusive economic growth for workers and businesses.
The negotiated text can now be accessed on USTR’s website.
The agreement will be signed by AIT and TECRO in the coming weeks, in both English and Chinese. Details on the signing ceremony will be available at a later date.
Following the signing of the agreement, the United States and Taiwan, under the auspices of AIT and TECRO, will commence negotiations on additional trade areas set forth in the initiative’s negotiating mandate.
Additional details on the chapters included in the agreement:
Customs Administration and Trade Facilitation
The negotiated text on customs administration and trade facilitation will streamline border procedures and reduce red tape, making it easier, faster, and cheaper for American businesses to bring their products to Taiwan and Taiwanese customers. Customs forms will be able to be submitted electronically and will allow border agencies to accept electronic payment of duties, taxes, and fees. Reducing wait times for idling vessels and trucks will also lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduce spoilage, especially of perishable goods.
Good Regulatory Practices
The negotiated text on good regulatory practices creates improved transparency tools and mechanisms that will help small and medium-sized enterprises better understand regulatory procedures in both the U.S. and Taiwan markets. This includes public consultations on draft regulatory measures, which can contribute to better and more informed regulations.
The text also establishes a Good Regulatory Practices Committee to monitor implementation of the obligations in this chapter, improve information sharing, and facilitate enhanced regulatory cooperation.
Services Domestic Regulation
The negotiated text ensures service suppliers are treated fairly when they apply for permission to operate, and that there is a smooth flow of information between the applicant for a license and the regulator. Regulators are required to be independent of the industry they oversee, and must inform applicants of the requirements to obtain a license, provide applicants a fair opportunity to demonstrate that they meet the requirements, and make a decision on whether to issue a license in a reasonable period of time.
The negotiated text also prohibits licensing rules that discriminate on the basis of gender.
The negotiated text on anticorruption commits the sides to establish comprehensive anticorruption measures that will prevent and combat bribery and other forms of corruption. Building on the anticorruption framework established in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, this chapter addresses money laundering, denial of entry for foreign public officials, the recovery of proceeds of corruption, and enhanced protections for corruption whistleblowers.
The negotiated text also mandates procedures for possible removal of public officials who are charged or convicted of corruption.
Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)
The negotiated text on SMEs will encourage SME trade and investment opportunities between the United States and Taiwan, including through training programs, trade education, trade finance, trade missions, and improving SME access to capital and credit. The sides would promote online, publicly available resources for SMEs to learn more about how to conduct business in both markets.
The negotiated text encourages that the SME Dialogues include SME owned by diverse, underserved, and underrepresented groups.
U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade First Agreement Text