Taiwanese and US trade officials began a second round of talks in Taipei on Saturday under a recently launched trade initiative aimed at improving the overall bilateral trade environment.
Leading the two sides in the talks under the US-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade are US Assistant Trade Representative Terry McCartin and Office of Trade Negotiations Deputy Trade Representative Yang Jen-ni (楊珍妮).
McCartin arrived in Taipei on Friday with a delegation of more than 20 US officials, and attended a dinner later that day hosted by Minister Without Portfolio John Deng (鄧振中), Taiwan’s top trade negotiator, a Cabinet official familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
The US delegates are not scheduled to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) or Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) due to “tight schedules,” the official said.
Few details have been revealed about this round of talks, but the Office of Trade Negotiations is expected to brief the public on its outcome after the negotiations conclude on Tuesday, the official said.
Speaking to local media yesterday morning, Deng said the government prepared well for this round of talks, and he is optimistic about progress.
He said that among the 11 issues outlined by the initiative, Taiwanese officials would focus on trade facilitation, the promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises, effective regulatory practices and anti-corruption measures.
The goal of the government continues to be that the two sides can “reach some high-standard and economically meaningful agreements” by the end of this year, Deng said.
Under the initiative launched in June last year, bilateral negotiations are also expected on trade issues related to agriculture, state-owned enterprises, nonmarket policies and practices, digital trade, standards, labor and the environment.
Photo courtesy of the Taiwan’s Office of Trade Negotiations
However, the initiative does not cover tariff reductions.
The talks in Taipei follow two days of meetings held in New York in November last year, at which McCartin and Yang also served as the lead officials for the US and Taiwan respectively.
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