Taiwan is an important partner of the US in the proposed Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), under which the US hopes to expand trade and investment relations, a high-ranking US trade official said on Thursday.
At present, the US is Taiwan’s largest foreign investor, and many Taiwanese companies also have investments in the US, assistant US trade representative for services and investment Christine Bliss said at the SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington.
TISA was initiated by a group of WTO members — led by the US and Australia — that call themselves “The Really Good Friends of Services,” with the goal of drafting a treaty that would further liberalize trade and investment in services.
The group currently includes Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Pakistan, Peru, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, the US and the 27 member states of the EU.
Asked to comment on China’s bid to join TISA talks, Taiwan’s deputy chief trade negotiator Dale Jieh (介文汲) said Taiwan leaves open the possibility of participation by any WTO members, as long as they meet TISA standards.
On the Taiwan-China service trade agreement signed in June, Jieh said the pact promises a higher degree of liberalization than through the WTO and provides great business opportunities for the financial and e-commerce sectors in the China market.
He suggested that US companies take advantage of the agreement and seek strategic partners in Taiwan to access the China market.
In other news, a US congressman and co-chair of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus arrived in the country yesterday for a five-day visit, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
Republican US Representative John Carter from Texas, who became a co-chair of the Taiwan Caucus earlier this year, is visiting to gain a better understanding of the country and the issues surrounding Taiwan’s relations with China and the US, the ministry said.
Carter will meet with President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), as well as Cabinet officials, and visit the Legislative Yuan during his time in Taipei, the ministry said.