Negotiations for a bilateral trade agreement between Taiwan and the US are still likely to go forward despite a change in the US presidency, Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Chen Chern-chyi (陳正祺) said yesterday.
The Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) under which Taiwan and the US hold formal talks has a high chance of resuming and is an important catalyst for a bilateral trade agreement, Chen said.
Chen pointed to Taiwan’s recent announcement that it would ease restrictions on imports of US pork containing the leanness-enhancing drug ractopamine.
Photo: Cheng I-hwa, Bloomberg
Washington has long criticized Taiwan’s zero-tolerance policy for ractopamine as an impediment to trade, and as a result of this, it has not held formal talks with Taiwan through the TIFA framework since October 2016.
However, many believe it would be an opportune moment to take tangible steps toward completing a US-Taiwan trade pact, because the Taiwanese government in August announced that it would ease restrictions on imports of US pork products containing the drug.
The easing of the restrictions removes a trade obstacle, with US officials from various parties showing support for a deal, Chen said.
More people in the US are calling for US companies to invest in Taiwan as relations between the two countries have improved over the past few years, Chen said.
“This shows that the direction of a bilateral trade agreement will not change, just like an aircraft carrier cannot change the direction of its course quickly,” Chen said.
However, it might take some time for a trade pact to be signed because US president-elect Joe Biden would first need to work on how to deploy his administration personnel, Chen said, adding that the chances of a bilateral trade agreement being signed look good and are increasing.
The biggest difference between Biden and US President Donald Trump is that Biden would likely look for like-minded allies, he said.
Taiwan’s chances of joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) would rise if the US joins and leads the trade agreement, Chen said.
The Japan-led CPTPP, which grew out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership after the US left the pact in January 2017, represents a market of 500 million people and accounts for 13.5 percent of global trade.
US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach also concluded a visit to Taiwan in September and discussed improving economic ties, amidst hopes that official trade talks could be held before the end of the year, Chen said.
Krach was the highest-ranking US Department of State official to visit Taiwan in more than four decades.
Even though Trump lost his re-election bid, it is unlikely that US policies, including those on China, would change dramatically overnight, Chen said.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs remains “cautiously optimistic,” he added.
Chen said that the trade dispute between the US and China would continue, as the two still disagree on many issues, including Beijing’s passage of national security legislation for Hong Kong, and the violation of Uighurs’ human rights in China’s Xinjiang region.
The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday fined Citibank Taiwan Ltd (花旗台灣) NT$10 million (US$357,194) and DBS Bank Taiwan (星展台灣) NT$6 million for breaches of the nation’s anti-money laundering (AML) regulations. The NT$10 million fine is the highest penalty that it has imposed on a domestic bank, the commission said. Citibank Taiwan failed to set up a sound mechanism for evaluating clients’ risk of money laundering and for detecting suspicious transactions, Banking Bureau Deputy Director-General Huang Kuang-hsi (黃光熙) told a news conference in New Taipei City. The bank based its AML policies on those of its US-based parent company, Citigroup Inc, but the policies
BETTING BIG: The world’s most advanced chipmaker might be eyeing an advanced 3-nanometer plant in the US after it finishes setting up its 5-nanometer fab there Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is weighing plans to pump tens of billions of dollars more into cutting-edge chip factories in Arizona than it had previously disclosed, but is cool on prospects for an advanced European plant, people familiar with the matter said. TSMC is the world’s most advanced chipmaker, and its investment plans are being closely watched amid a global chip shortage and new initiatives in the US and Europe to subsidize semiconductor production. TSMC last year announced that it would invest US$10 billion to US$12 billion to build a chip factory in Phoenix. The previously disclosed factory could be
COMPETITIVE: The chip designer is offering an annual compensation of NT$1.5 million to NT$2 million, in addition to cash and stock bonuses to attract workers MediaTek Inc (聯發科), the world’s biggest designer of 5G handset chips, is stepping up its recruitment drive this year, with plans to hire more than 2,000 engineers specializing in core technologies, including 5G, wireless communication and artificial intelligence (AI). That would be double from the more than 1,000 people it hired on average in the past few years, as the Hsinchu-based company looks to boost growth this year and beyond. It also comes as the company plans to launch a new 5G chip, Dimensity 2000 series, which supports mmWave technology and sub-6-gigahertz technology, at the end of this year. That would be
COMPONENTS ISSUE: Hon Hai’s Young Liu said that although prices for components and raw materials have increased, their influence on the company would be limited Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), also known as Foxconn Technology Group (富士康科技集團), yesterday said that a global supply crunch that has hit the consumer electronics and automaking industries will worsen this quarter, after it weathered component shortages to post better-than-expected quarterly profit last quarter. The world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer and main assembler of iPhones reported net income of NT$28.2 billion (US$1 billion) in the first quarter, beating the average NT$24.4 billion of adjusted analyst estimates. Revenue in the second quarter will likely be steady from the previous quarter’s NT$1.35 trillion, as growth in its consumer electronics and components divisions is