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After Being Left Out of the US Indo-Pacific Economic Effort, the US and Taiwan Announce a New Trade Initiative

Following Taiwan’s exclusion from President Joe Biden’s formal announcement of the US Indo-Pacific economic strategy in Asia last week, Taiwan’s trade ambassador announced a fresh trade push on Wednesday.

The new endeavour, dubbed the US-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade, signals the start of formal trade talks between Taiwan and the United States.

At a news conference on Wednesday, Taiwan’s trade ambassador John Deng said it was a step toward finalising a free trade agreement.

“Trade facilitation, regulatory practises, agriculture, anti-corruption, supporting small and medium-sized enterprises, digital trade, labour rights, the environment, standards, state-owned enterprises, and non-market practises and policies” are among the 11 key areas covered by the initiative, according to Deng.

One of the main goals, according to the US Trade Representative’s office, is to “create an ambitious roadmap for discussions to secure accords with high-standard pledges and economically relevant outcomes.”

China can conquer Taiwan, but it would come at a very high cost in terms of bloodshed.

China can conquer Taiwan, but it would come at a very high cost in terms of bloodshed.

Deng praised the proposal as a “historic accomplishment” for Taiwan since it creates additional opportunities for trade and economic cooperation with the United States.

He went on to say that it has significant features of a regional trade deal, which might pave the way for the “much anticipated” bilateral trade agreement between Taiwan and the United States to be signed soon.

The initiative’s launch would coincide with Taiwan’s ongoing efforts to join the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity, according to Deng.

Deng will fly to Washington, DC, at the end of June to attend the initiative’s first meeting.

US officials are working with Taiwan to launch a new economic initiative, according to the Biden administration.

“Through this initiative, we hope to examine ways we can enhance our bilateral economic and trade partnerships and achieve meaningful outcomes for our people,” an administration official said in a call with reporters.


“We will move fast in the days and weeks ahead to build a path for possible negotiations, followed by in-person sessions in Washington, DC next month,” the official added.

“Trade facilitation, regulatory procedures, agriculture, anti-corruption, assisting our small and medium-sized firms, digital trade outcomes, labour rights, the environment, standards, state-owned enterprises, and non-market practises and regulations are all key issues for our negotiations.”

The talks come after Biden delivered a speech in Tokyo in which he revealed his long-awaited Asian economic plan, the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity, or IPEF, which involves 13 partner countries.

However, it excludes Taiwan, which was a point of contention as Biden prepared a plan to build an economic area to challenge China’s expanding influence in the region.

Officials appeared receptive to integrating Taiwan in IPEF in the future on Tuesday, even as they worked on bilaterally building a similar structure.

“We developed this effort because we are committed to exploring ways to enhance trade investment with Taiwan,” a senior official said.

“We believe that by taking this step, we would be able to focus more on our collaboration with Taiwan and adapt the discourse to the specifics of our trading relationship.”

While Taiwan was not included in the IPEF’s “first launch,” the official stated that “coming forward, we want to take a flexible and adaptive approach to IPEF participation.”

The official continued, “There’s still… time in the process.”

In a ‘charged moment for the world,’ Blinken said the US is prepared to boost diplomacy with China.

In a ‘charged moment for the world,’ Blinken said the US is prepared to boost diplomacy with China.

Officials stated the agreement will not require legislative approval since it contains “no market access restrictions.”

“Underscore that we will be engaging… very actively with Congress and other stakeholders,” one person said.

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“Obviously, there’s a lot of interest in the Taiwan relationship in general, as well as the substance of what we’re doing here,” the official continued.

“Obviously, there is a lot of communication going on with Congress on these matters in general, and we’ll be moving forward with them.”

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