US, Taiwan finalize 1st agreement under bilateral trade initiative – Taiwan News

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TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced the first agreement with Taiwan under the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade on Thursday (May 18).

The agreement addresses issues concerning customs administration and trade facilitation, good regulatory practices, domestic service regulations, anti-corruption, and small and medium-sized enterprises, according to a USTR statement. U.S. businesses will be able to export more products to Taiwan, while “creating more transparent and streamlined regulatory procedures that can facilitate investment and economic opportunities in both markets, particularly for small- and medium-sized enterprises,” the office said.

“This accomplishment represents an important step forward in strengthening the U.S.-Taiwan economic relationship,” U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai said. “It demonstrates how we can work together and advance mutual trade priorities on behalf of our people.”

USTR said the agreement will be signed by the American Institute in Taiwan and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office within a few weeks. Once the deal is inked, the two countries will begin a new round of negotiations on other trade topics.

Taiwan’s Office of Trade Negotiations said the government has provided explanations to major business organizations and stakeholders throughout the negotiation process.

This agreement comes nearly one year after the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade was launched in June 2022. U.S. and Taiwan trade delegations met in New York in November for the first round of negotiations and held another meeting in Taipei this January.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has been very vocal about ultimately signing a trade deal with the U.S. as well as a tax agreement to facilitate closer economic exchanges. Taiwan already has free trade agreements with nine other countries, including New Zealand and Singapore.

It is currently in talks with Canada to sign a trade deal.