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President urges U.S. to include Taiwan in tariff exemption

2018/05/22 13:27:57

Taipei, May 22 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Tuesday urged the United States to include Taiwan in an exemption list for its recently imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

"A stable economic partnership between Taiwan and the U.S. plays a positive role in Washington's economic security," Tsai said.

"We hope the U.S. will include Taiwan in the exemption list on tariffs imposed on steel and aluminum imports under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962," she said while meeting with a delegation from the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) at the Presidential Office.

On March 8, the White House announced that U.S. President Donald Trump had signed an order to impose a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum.

The order makes it clear, however, that countries that wish to obtain a waiver to these tariffs are allowed to come up with "satisfactory alternative means" to address current trade inequities.

It was the first time in more than three decades the law was invoked to protect a domestic industry from competition brought about by imports.

Despite talks with Washington, Taipei has remained excluded from the tariff exemption list, but it has vowed to obtain the status through more negotiations.

During the meeting with the USCC delegation, Tsai said Taiwan will continue constructive dialogue with the U.S. on a wide range of economic and trade issues, and she hoped the USCC could help advance the bilateral strategic economic partnership.

To strengthen ties with the U.S., Tsai said, Taiwan will send a large delegation to Washington to participate in the "SelectUSA" investment summit in June, which focuses on direct investments in the U.S. market.

The president said, meanwhile, that she was delighted to see that 172 U.S. House representatives and 13 senators had written to the World Health Organization to show their support for Taiwan's participation in the annual meeting of the World Health Assembly (WHA), from which it has been excluded.

Taiwan had hoped to attend the WHA meeting as an observer, as it did from 2009 to 2016, but did not receive an invitation from the WHO for a second straight year because of opposition from China.

The USCC was set up by the U.S. Congress in 2000, aiming to monitor, investigate, and submit an annual report to Congress on the national security implications of the bilateral trade and economic relationship between Washington and Beijing.

The visiting USCC delegation included Carolyn Bartholomew, vice chairman of the commission, and commissioners Roy Kamphausen, Jonathan Stivers, Katherine Tobin and Larry Wortzel, according to the Presidential Office.

(By Yeh Su-ping and Frances Huang)