Sat, Apr 13, 2019 - Page 12 News List

US official talks of deepening ties with Taiwan

ECONOMICS:David Meale thanked Taiwan for backing Washington’s Indo-Pacific strategy, while President Tsai Ing-wen called for talks on a bilateral trade pact

Staff writer, with CNA

President Tsai Ing-wen, right, speaks to US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Trade Policy and Negotiations David Meale, left, during a meeting at the Presidential Office in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

The US looks forward to deepening its economic relations with Taiwan, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Trade Policy and Negotiations David Meale said at a meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) at the Presidential Office in Taipei yesterday.

The US 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, Meale said.

He also thanked Taiwan for its support of the US Indo-Pacific strategy, adding 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, an official at the US Department of State’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, is in Taiwan to attend a series of events to mark the 40th anniversary of the US’ Taiwan Relations Act.

Tsai said that economic relations between the two sides have grown over the years, and Taiwan was the US’ 11th largest trading partner last year, with bilateral trade growing 11 percent to more than US$76 billion, which is greater than US trade with Brazil or Australia.

Last year, Taiwanese companies made even more significant investments in the US, such as oil refiner CPC Corp, Taiwan (台灣中油), which announced that it would buy US$25 billion of liquefied natural gas from the US, the president said.

Taiwan and the US have in the past few years made great progress by using the dialogue mechanisms under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement to discuss topics such as intellectual property, market access and investment protection, she said.

Taiwan is willing to work with the US on deepening economic cooperation on 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.

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