Taiwan, U.S. to hold first trade initiative meeting on Monday: USTR

06/27/2022 02:07 PM
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Taiwan's chief trade negotiator John Deng. CNA file photo

Washington, June 26 (CNA) The first meeting of a newly-launched United States-Taiwan trade initiative will take place on Monday (U.S. time), according to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

The closed-door meeting will be joined by Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi and Taiwan's chief trade negotiator John Deng (鄧振中), the USTR said in a statement released Sunday.

Deng, who is currently under isolation in Mexico after being diagnosed with COVID-19 there, will not be attending the meeting in person, but will instead participate virtually, said Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), Taiwan's top envoy to the U.S.

According to Taiwan's Office of Trade Negotiations, Deng has relatively mild symptoms and is in stable condition. He was visiting Mexico to facilitate economic trade cooperation and exchanges between the two countries, it added.

The U.S. and Taiwan announced the launch of the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade on June 1.

In a press release issued at that time, the USTR said the initiative "is intended to develop concrete ways to deepen the economic and trade relationship, advance mutual trade priorities based on shared values, and promote innovation and inclusive economic growth for our workers and businesses."

Taiwan and the U.S. will work to "develop an ambitious roadmap for negotiations for reaching agreements with high-standard commitments and economically meaningful outcomes," the press release said.

According to the USTR, the two sides will focus their negotiations on 11 areas, including trade facilitation, regulatory practices, standards, state-owned enterprises, non-market policies and practices, as well as anti-corruption.

Other areas to be touched on within the initiative are the support of small and medium-sized enterprises in trade, digital trade and worker-centric trade.

The two sides will also explore ways to promote cooperation in agriculture and climate action, the USTR added.

The launch of the trade initiative was made after Taiwan was excluded from the U.S.' new Indo-Pacific economic initiative, the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, launched on May 23 by President Joe Biden.

Taiwan's government had called the U.S. decision "regrettable," but said bilateral options could still be explored.

(By Chiang Ching-yeh and Joseph Yeh)

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