President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday told a visiting top US official that he hopes Taiwan and the US would resume talks under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) and put bilateral trade negotiations back on track.
Taiwan is the 15th-largest export destination for US goods and the sixth-largest in terms of agricultural products, Ma said during a meeting with US Assistant Secretary of State Jose Fernandez.
Taiwanese businesses are also participating in Select USA, US President Barack Obama’s initiative to attract both domestic and foreign investment, Ma said.
As of the end of April, Taiwanese companies have injected US$13 billion in 5,112 investment projects in the US, accounting for 19 percent of Taiwan’s outbound investment, which is the second-largest amount of investment in a single country, he said.
In light of such business ties, Ma urged the US to resume TIFA talks with Taiwan, pointing out that Taiwan has inked a number of trade agreements with other countries in recent years, such as the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) with China and an investment agreement with Japan.
Ma said that once TIFA negotiations are resumed, the next step for Taiwan would be to create a better environment to take part in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.
For his part, Fernandez said he hopes to study ways to improve Taiwan-US trade relations during his short stay in Taipei and that he will visit US businesses here, as well as Taiwanese companies doing business with the US.
Taiwan is one of the most important parts in Asia’s successful economic development, Fernandez said.