Office of the United States Trade Representative


Deputy USTR to Visit Taiwan, India, Vietnam May 24- June

WASHINGTON – Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Karan Bhatia will travel to Taipei, Taiwan, New Delhi, India and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam May 24 to June 2 to advance the US trade agenda.

"We have a very active trade agenda in this dynamic and rapidly growing region," said Ambassador Bhatia. "With our recent bilateral market access agreement with Vietnam, a vigorous trade discussion with India and our ongoing engagement with Taiwan, we are demonstrating that we are eager to deepen our relationship with our Asian neighbors."


Ambassador Bhatia will lead an interagency delegation that will participate in two-day meetings under the AIT-TECRO (American Institute in Taiwan - Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office) Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). The TIFA was established in 1994 to resolve bilateral trade issues and enhance economic cooperation. Discussions under the TIFA will cover a wide range of important bilateral trade issues including agriculture, enforcement of intellectual property rights, pharmaceuticals, and telecommunications policy. This will be Ambassador Bhatia’s first trip to Taiwan in his role as Deputy USTR; he will be the most senior US official to visit Taiwan in six years. He will be accompanied by Assistant USTR for China Tim Stratford.


This will be Ambassador Bhatia’s third trip to India during his six months at USTR. He will lead bilateral trade discussions under the Trade Policy Forum, a trade dialogue mechanism created last July by President Bush and Prime Minister Singh to enhance the trade and investment environment between the US and India. He will be accompanied by Assistant USTR for South and Southwest Asia Ambassador Doug Hartwick.


This will be Ambassador Bhatia’s first trip to Vietnam where the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Trade Ministers will be meeting June 1-2. Founded in 1989, APEC is a vital engine for global trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and a driving force supporting the current WTO negotiations, intellectual property initiatives, and efforts to promote high-quality FTAs in the region. The Asia-Pacific region is critically important to the United States, accounting for roughly one-third of U.S. global trade. Ambassador Bhatia will be accompanied by Wendy Cutler, Assistant USTR for Japan, Korea, and APEC Affairs. The U.S. recently reached agreement in principle on a bilateral market access agreement with Vietnam, bringing this growing trading partner one step closer to joining the WTO.


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