Taiwan and the US on Friday held talks on strengthening their economic relationship, and have identified the semiconductor industry as the top mutual priority in economic cooperation.
The talks, under the auspices of the new Economic Prosperity Partnership (EPP) Dialogue, were held virtually and partly in person in Washington, led on the US side by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach, who visited Taipei in September.
Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Chen Chern-chyi (陳正祺) led a delegation to Washington for the discussions.
In Taipei, a news conference was held at 10am yesterday at the Executive Yuan following the six-hour EPP Dialogue.
Minister Without Portfolio John Deng (鄧振中), Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花), Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), Minister of Science and Technology Wu Tsung-tsong (吳政忠) and American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Brent Christensen were among the officials who attended the new conference.
Deng said both sides have confirmed that strategic cooperation in the semiconductor industry is a priority, given its potential to generate significant and long-term benefits for both economies.
That the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), is investing in the US has laid the foundation for bilateral cooperation in this field, Wang added.
The EPP Dialogue addressed areas of further cooperation, such as the US Department of State’s new Clean Network project and 5G security, semiconductors, as well as investment screening, science and technology.
Both sides agreed to established a task force that would be charged with exploring areas of cooperation on the economy. They also agreed that the Indo-Pacific region would be a focal point for their efforts in the future, and discussed points of convergence between US strategy in the region, and the aims of the government’s New Southbound Policy.
In the area of cooperation on global health, Taiwan would share its expertise in protective equipment, while the US would contribute through its prowess in medical research, vaccine research and development, and pharmaceuticals.
Both sides added that they hope to strengthen cooperation in the area of digital technology, as well as improve opportunities for business in the areas of medical care and medical products.
They also expressed plans to promote exchanges of talented people with developing countries, and create opportunities to help such countries improve their healthcare capabilities.
The two sides said they hoped to ensure the free flow of medical supplies and services worldwide, and would search for new opportunities to cooperate toward this aim.
On science and technology cooperation, they agreed to launch negotiations to draft a “science and technology agreement” to “advance joint understanding and collaboration on a broad range of science and technology topics.”
The State Department on Aug. 5 announced the 5G Clean Network program to safeguard information security, which included Taiwanese operators on a list of trusted telecommunications companies.
Both sides in the EPP Dialogue said they would discuss ways to encourage establishment of safe 5G networks.
On women’s economic empowerment, the US has been involved in initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean in the past few years, while Taiwan has supported programs in the Indo-Pacific region through the New Southbound Policy.
The two sides expressed interest in combining efforts in both regions.
They also discussed plans to cooperate on infrastructure development in the Indo-Pacific, and have already signed the Framework to Strengthen Infrastructure Finance and Market Building Cooperation, which calls for technical exchanges and information sharing on infrastructure with countries in the region, as well as the promotion of infrastructure investments.
They agreed to cooperate on investment screening through the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US.
Deng said the EPP Dialogue did not touch on issues related to a possible bilateral trade agreement (BTA).
A BTA, which has received much attention particularly after the government decided to ease restrictions on US pork containing the leanness-enhancing additive ractopamine in an attempt to pave the way for an eventual trade deal with the US, would be discussed through the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement platform, Deng said.
“The US-Taiwan economic dialogue signifies that not only is the United States-Taiwan economic relationship strong, but it continues to deepen and grow,” Christensen told the news conference.
The State Department said coming talks would help bolster the US-Taiwan economic ties and “our shared commitment to free markets, entrepreneurship and freedom.”
The dialogue, which Taiwan hopes would eventually lead to a free-trade agreement, is part of increased US engagement with Taipei under the administration of US President Donald Trump.
US trade with Taiwan totaled an estimated US$103.9 billion last year, according to the latest figures from the US Trade Representative’s office.
The EPP Dialogue also generated a memorandum of understanding (MOU), signed between the AIT and the Taipei Economic and Cultural
Representative Office in the US.
The office in a statement said the two sides signed the MOU to establish an “institutionalized dialogue mechanism.”
VIGILANCE: From tomorrow all arrivals must provide the result of a PCR test issued within three days of boarding, and the CECC asked people to report anyone who has faked their result The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) expects an increase in the number of returning travelers in the coming days, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday, adding that the varying qualities of COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test reports from other countries is a big concern. Chen, who heads the center, was speaking to the media on the sidelines of a Taiwan Foundation for Rare Disorders scholarship award ceremony in Taipei. “As the global COVID-19 situation is worsening, and with some holidays coming up, there might be an increase in the number of overseas Taiwanese returning to Taiwan,” he
SKIN, ENTRAILS: Placards also dotted the legislative chamber, with slogans such as ‘Oppose ractopamine pork — not US pork’ and ‘Much ado about nothing’ Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers yesterday pelted Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) with pig skin and entrails as he addressed the Legislative Yuan on pork imports for the first time since the KMT’s boycott began on Sept. 18. Opposition lawmakers have been demanding an apology from the government for its decision to lift its ban on the importation of US pork containing residues of the livestock drug ractopamine. After Su arrived at 10am for his 13th attempt to deliver a regular policy report, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus moved to change the agenda to accommodate the premier. The motion resulted in cries of
‘FREEDOM WINE’: Taiwanese are empathetic of Australians, the president said, while lawmakers called on their constituents to drink Australian wine to show their support Taiwan would take action to back Australians at a time when they are “under tremendous pressure,” President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday, as tensions between Australia and China heated up. Taipei and Canberra have been mutually supportive in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in exchanging critical medical materials in the early stages, Tsai said, before chairing the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Central Standing Committee meeting in Taipei. Taiwan and Australia are like-minded nations, sharing the common values of democracy, freedom and human rights, while their economic and trade relations have also become close, she said. Canberra has been voicing support for Taiwan’s international
CECC RULES: The autumn-winter COVID-19 prevention program, including mandatory mask wearing in eight types of public venues and indoor facilities, begins today A temporary, two-week ban on Indonesian migrant workers entering the nation is to begin on Friday, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced yesterday as it reported 24 new imported cases of COVID-19. Twenty of the new cases are Indonesian migrant workers who arrived between Nov. 11 and Friday last week, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. The cases were discovered during a special project on Friday to conduct polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests on all 939 recently arrived Indonesian migrant workers in centralized quarantine facilities, as the majority of imported cases in the past