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U.S. looks to deepening economic relations with Taiwan: Meale

2019/04/12 19:43:52

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文, right) and David Meale.

Taipei, April 12 (CNA) U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State David Meale told President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) Friday that the United States looks forward to deepening its economic relations with Taiwan.

During their meeting at the Presidential Office, Meale said the U.S. government is focused on promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific strategy that enables its private sector and economies throughout the region to engage in meaningful economic interactions.

He also thanked Taiwan for its support of the U.S. Indo-Pacific strategy, while noting that there is a lot for the two sides to discuss about "how to move forward on unleashing the power of the private sector from western India to the western United States."

"Obviously, we have much to build upon in terms of the enduring nature of our economic relationship and moving forward together to deepen its potential," he added.

Meale, who is deputy assistant secretary for trade policy negotiations in State Department's Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, is in Taiwan to attend a series of events to mark the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA).

President Tsai, meanwhile, noted that economic relations between the two sides have grown over the years, and that Taiwan was the U.S.' 11th largest trading partner last year with bilateral trade growing by 11 percent to exceed US$76 billion, which is greater than U.S. trade with Brazil or Australia.

The president also said that last year Taiwanese companies made even more significant investments in the U.S., such as oil refiner CPC Corp., which announced it would buy US$25 billion of liquefied natural gas from the country.

In recent years, Taiwan and the U.S. have made great progress by using the dialogue mechanisms under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) to discuss topics such as intellectual property, market access and investment protection, she said.

Taiwan is willing to work with the U.S. on deepening economic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific strategy, Tsai added, urging Washington to officially engage in talks with Taiwan on a bilateral trade agreement so the two countries can continue to strengthen their economic ties in a mutually beneficial way.

(By Wen Kuei-hsiang and Ko Lin)
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