AmCham launches initiative to facilitate Taiwan-U.S. trade agreement

06/23/2021 07:21 PM
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Image from the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan website
Image from the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan website

Taipei, June 23 (CNA) The American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan (AmCham) on Wednesday introduced plans for a Taiwan Commercial Initiative (TCI) designed to take economic relations between Taiwan and United States to a new level and culminate in a bilateral trade agreement.

"The stars are aligning for a sharp upgrade in U.S.-Taiwan economic relations," AmCham President Andrew Wylegala said. "Through the TCI, AmCham is calling for more platforms and more private sector involvement."

The initiative will be a six-track strategic approach to enhancing U.S.-Taiwan economic and business ties, he said during a virtual press conference at which AmCham released its 2021 Taiwan White Paper.

The first TCI goal, which urges Washington to give an immediate signal of intent to restart the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), has already been accomplished, as the Taiwan and U.S. governments recently agreed to resume the TIFA council meetings, AmCham said.

The TCI also calls for expansion of the bilateral Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue (EPPD), initiated by the U.S. State Department last November, to encompass business participation, AmCham said.

In addition, the TCI urges the U.S. Department of Commerce and Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs "to develop transaction-oriented, public-private platforms to promote two-way trade and investment, Taiwan's inclusion in new and existing plurilateral economic agreement, and conclusion of a U.S.-Taiwan double-taxation pact," AmCham said.

The concept is that those overlapping approaches will reinforce each other and pave the way for the ultimate goal of a bilateral trade agreement between the U.S. and Taiwan, the chamber said.

In its white paper, AmCham also urged the U.S. to ensure Taiwan's access to an adequate supply of COVID-19 vaccines.

The current outbreak of COVID-19 in Taiwan threatens some of its most vital manufacturing operations, including those of its semiconductor companies, AmCham said.

"We urge our friends in Washington to push for Taiwan's inclusion at the appropriate level in all efforts to direct the U.S.' surplus supply of vaccines to areas of critical need overseas," AmCham said.

The white paper also said it is important to speed up Taiwan's digital transformation, bolster its supply chains, and ensure a stable supply of energy, as these are all factors that are impact domestic and international businesses in the country.

AmCham suggested the creation of a sovereign wealth fund that it said would draw on Taiwan's large foreign reserves and boost its image as an internationally oriented economy and a great place to do business.

(By Tseng Chi-yi and Lee Hsin-Yin)

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