Taiwan-US trade relations would remain “on track” regardless of the outcome of yesterday’s presidential elections in the US, Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said yesterday.
“Taiwan is a trusted partner of the US,” Wang told reporters at a meeting of the legislature’s Economics Committee in Taipei. “This does not change [depending on] whether the Republicans or the Democrats are in power.”
Taiwan has made significant progress in trade and diplomatic relations with the US in the past few months.
Despite protests from China, US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar met with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) at the Presidential Office in August. This was followed by a delegation led by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach to attend closed-door meetings with government officials and business leaders in Taipei to bolster trade ties.
US President Donald Trump’s bellicose China policy is widely believed to have enabled many of the commercial and diplomatic moves favorable to Taiwan.
On Aug. 28, Tsai announced that the government would on Jan. 1 ease a ban on imports of US pork containing ractopamine and US beef from cattle older than 30 months, despite strong public sentiment, a move that Wang has described as “a necessary precondition” for any bilateral trade agreement with the US.
Asked by reporters how the outcome of the elections might affect possible trade talks with the US, Wang emphasized the importance of “bipartisan support” for Taiwan in the US Congress and the “will of the American people,” rather than tying Taiwan’s gains to a single US political party.
“We have always made friends with the Democrats as well as the Republicans,” Wang said. “The progress we have made in US-Taiwan trade relations in the past few months is due to broad-based positive public sentiment for such policies in the US.”
Saying that the ministry is “in constant contact” with US trade officials, Wang said that she is “waiting to see how things develop” after the elections.
Amid US-China trade tensions and the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan has become “the hub for an essential supply chain, especially from the point of view of the US,” she said.
“When US companies look for trusted partners, they look to Taiwan,” Wang said, adding that many leading US tech companies, such as Alphabet Inc’s Google and Microsoft Corp, have “doubled down” on their investments in Taiwan.
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