he United States and Taiwan launched a new initiative, the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade, to deepen their trade ties. This comes after the self-ruled island was excluded from the recently launched U.S.-led Indo-Pacific economic initiative.
Discussions for the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade, which will address issues including customs procedures and digital economy practices, could lead to “agreements with high standard commitments,” according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).
In a statement, the Office of the United States Trade Representative said that a key goal is to “develop an ambitious roadmap for negotiations for reaching agreements with high-standard commitments and economically meaningful outcomes.”
The agreement followed the launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) in late May by the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden along with 12 countries including Japan, South Korea, Australia, Fiji, and other countries in Southeast Asia. The launch of this initiative will run parallel towards Taiwan’s continuous efforts in joining the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity.
This new initiative signals the launch of official trade negotiations between the United States and Taiwan, which is “a precursor to signing a free trade agreement” said Taiwan’s trade representative John Deng.
The U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade covers 11 key areas: trade facilitation, regulatory practices, agriculture, anti-corruption, supporting small and medium sized enterprises, digital trade, labor rights, the environment, standards, state owned enterprises, and non-market practices and policies.
USTR seeks public comments on U.S.-Taiwan trade initiative
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is currently seeking public input by July 8 on the recently announced U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade. Submitted comments will be used to assist USTR as it develops negotiating objectives and positions for the agreements contemplated by this new initiative.
You should submit written comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal here. Follow the instructions for submissions in parts II and III.