The first meeting of a newly launched US-Taiwan trade initiative was scheduled to take place yesterday, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) said on Sunday.
The closed-door meeting was to be headed by Deputy US Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi and Taiwan’s chief trade negotiator John Deng (鄧振中), the statement said.
Deng, currently under isolation in Mexico after being diagnosed with COVID-19 there, would not attend the meeting in person, but participate virtually, Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) said.
Photo from the Office of the US Trade Representative Twitter timeline
Taipei and Washington on June 1 announced the launch of the Taiwan-US Initiative on 21st-Century Trade.
In a press release issued at that time, the USTR said the initiative “is intended to develop concrete ways to deepen the economic and trade relationship, advance mutual trade priorities based on shared values, and promote innovation and inclusive economic growth for our workers and businesses.”
Taiwan and the US will work to “develop an ambitious roadmap for negotiations for reaching agreements with high-standard commitments and economically meaningful outcomes,” the release said.
According to the USTR, the two sides will focus their negotiations on 11 areas, including trade facilitation, regulatory practices, standards, state-owned enterprises, non-market policies and practices, and fighting corruption.
Other areas to be touched on within the initiative are the support of small and medium-sized enterprises in trade, digital trade and worker-centric trade.
The two sides will also explore ways to promote cooperation in agriculture and climate action, the USTR added.
The launch of the trade initiative was made after Taiwan was excluded from the US’ new economic initiative — the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework — launched on May 23 by US President Joe Biden.
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