News / Economy

US Official Talks Trade in Taiwan

Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) speaks at a news conference on comprehensive immigration reform at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, January 28, 2013 file photo.
Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) speaks at a news conference on comprehensive immigration reform at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, January 28, 2013 file photo.
Ralph Jennings
One of the U.S. Senate's leading foreign affairs figures is recommending Taiwan take a stronger global economic role as Washington shifts its priorities toward Asia. Senator Robert Menendez spoke in Taipei to business leaders about forging closer economic ties.

The chairman of the U.S. Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee told American business leaders in Taipei that Taiwan and the United States should negotiate an investment deal and allow the island into the Trans Pacific Partnership, a U.S.-led free trade alliance.

Taiwan also wants closer trade and investment ties with the United States to help expand its export-driven economy.

During a speech to the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei, Menendez recommended the investment pact and Taiwan’s entry to the partnership, or TPP, subject to conditions.

"I support discussions between the United States and Taiwan on a bilateral investment agreement and I have conveyed my strong support to the U.S. trade representative," he said. "I also support Taiwan’s future accession efforts in a TPP, provided that Taiwan is willing to support a high-standard, comprehensive agreement that addresses many issues, including labor and environment, currency manipulation and intellectual property rights as critical elements of it.”

The TPP is a broad deal to link 12 countries, including Japan, Vietnam, Australia, Mexico and the U.S., in a comprehensive free trade pact. The group does not currently include China, which frequently sidelines its rival Taiwan.

Menendez championed Taiwan earlier this year by spearheading a bill that obligates the State Department to push for Taiwan’s observer status in the International Civil Aviation Organization despite China’s resistance. The bill passed Congress in June. In 2011 the senator introduced legislation to require that the U.S. government to sell Taiwan late model F-16 fighter jets.

China has claimed sovereignty over self-ruled Taiwan since the Chinese civil war of the 1940s and has never renounced the use of force to reunify the two sides.

China and the United States, former Cold War foes, still distrust each other militarily. Both long-time informal allies Taiwan and the United States are trying for better relations with China with as its economy grows. Menendez said the U.S. pivot to Asia, aimed at strengthening diplomatic and military ties, is not directed against China, as Beijing fears, and noted it also includes an emphasis on economic relationships.

"A constructive and strategic American engagement in Asia is in the interest of all nations in the region, especially if we create ways to institutionalize cooperation and manage competition, creating a rules-based order for the Asia-Pacific region,” he said.

Senator Menendez, a Democrat from the U.S. state of New Jersey, is on his first trip to Asia as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He travels to South Korea Saturday before a final stop in China next week.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
August 17, 2013 1:13 PM
American Leaders are so busy, they like to look around.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7893
JPY
USD
107.68
GBP
USD
0.6238
CAD
USD
1.1214
INR
USD
61.185

Rates may not be current.