A US Trade Representative Office (USTR) spokesman said on Tuesday that the US has continued to work with Taiwan on a number of trade issues.
Richard Mills made the remarks during a regular press conference when he was asked whether the USTR, in its annual review next March or April, will remove Taiwan from its priority watch list compiled according to the special 301 provisions of the 1989 US Omnibus Trade Acts regarding intellectual property rights protection.
Taiwan has been placed on the priority watch list for the last three straight years because the US says nation has not made sufficient efforts in the protection of intellectual property rights.
"Taiwan is an important trading partner of the US, and we will continue to work with them on a number of issues related to intellectual property rights and other areas to make sure that Americans are treated fairly," he said.
On questions about Taiwan-US talks on lifting the nation's ban on US beef imports imposed after the appearance of a case of mad cow disease in Washington State in December last year, and on whether the US will re-open to Taiwan chicken imports, Mills didn't give a specific timetable, saying only that both sides have continued to communicate on these issues.
The US Department of Agriculture recently said that Taiwan has agreed in principle to resume imports of US beef and beef products. Taiwanese health and agriculture officials are currently in the US to inspect the major features and implementation of US safeguards against mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).