Sat, May 13, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan to bolster US jobs with continued arms buys

Reuters, TAIPEI

The nation is to continue buying arms from the US, boosting employment in at least six US states and narrowing the bilateral trade gap, the Cabinet told the US.

Taiwan’s military purchases “have boosted the local economy of and employment in states such as Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Utah, Ohio and Pennsylvania,” the Cabinet said as part of the public comment process for a 90-day trade review being conducted by the US.

Companies like Raytheon Co, Lockheed Martin Co, Boeing Co, Sikorsky and BAE Systems PLC have benefited from Taiwan’s purchases of missile defense systems, attack helicopters, fighter jets and other amphibious assault vehicles, it said.

Taiwan said that despite its efforts to build up an indigenous defense, “this will not affect our military procurement from the US” and it would continue to procure goods, including military hardware.

The 40-page English-language response released by the Cabinet late on Thursday stated that US-Taiwan ties were a “top priority” and that the nation and is “open to any possible proposals that will strengthen US-Taiwan trade relations on a fair and mutually-beneficial basis.”

It provided rare detail on the effect of the nation’s military purchases on the US and follows US President Donald Trump’s call for allies to pay their fair share of defense costs, reduce trade gaps and boost US jobs.

From 2008 to 2015, Taiwan was the seventh-largest source of procurement for US military-related goods and on average, military sales have amounted to US$2 billion annually, the Cabinet said.

It said that trade data accounting for arms sales, as well as the after-sales services and personnel training that come with it, would further close the overall trade gap between the two nations.

In late March, Trump ordered the US Department of Commerce and trade representative to conduct a 90-day review of the causes of massive US trade deficits.

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