News / Asia

US, Taiwan Resume Trade Talks

A staff member at a Taipei hyper market examines imported U.S. beef. (File Photo)
A staff member at a Taipei hyper market examines imported U.S. beef. (File Photo)
Ralph Jennings
— Taiwan and the United States have resumed trade talks, after a five-year suspension. Taiwan had banned a range of U.S. beef imports until about half a year ago, when the last key ban was lifted. Now, the two sides are talking about trade liberalization that could help put Taiwan’s export-driven economy on a level with its rivals in Asia.

Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Demetrio Marantis and Taiwan’s Vice Economics Minister Cho Shih-chao met behind closed doors Sunday to discuss liberalization of exports and investments. The Trade and Investment Framework Agreement talks that end on Monday are meant to move the two sides closer to removing barriers.

Taipei wants the United States to sign a free-trade agreement, which would raise Taiwan's competitiveness in Asia. The island also wants to join the 11-member Trans-Pacific Partnership, a regional trade pact that is under negotiation.  Marantis told a news conference on Sunday that the talks with Taiwan went well but that it is too early for landmark agreements.

“We look forward to continued work with Taiwan in terms of building upon our already-strong trade and investment relationship and taking it to the next level.  Now, we recognize that Taiwan has interests in a free-trade agreement, has interests in the TPP. It was a very fulsome and robust conversation that we were able to have on all of these issues today,” Marantis stated.

Taiwan would face a tough fight getting a free-trade agreement with the United States. Admission to the Trans-Pacific Partnership -a pact that is being formulated with heavy American influence - would require consent not just from the United States but also from other members.

But those accords would lift Taiwan’s $466 billion economy as it competes with Japan, South Korea and parts of Southeast Asia.

Taiwan, which depends on exports of machinery and high-tech products, lags behind its peers because the United States cut off the trade talks in 2007 because of bans on American beef.  Marantis told the news conference that agricultural issues remain between Taiwan and the United States, but he did not elaborate.

The United States is Taiwan’s second-biggest export destination after China, and the United States is its largest source of foreign investment capital.  Taiwan is the 11th largest American trade partner overall, and was already importing about $128 million of U.S. beef per year before the most recent ban was fully lifted in mid-2012.

Liu Yi-jiun, an international affairs professor at Fo Guang University in Taiwan, says the island’s public is looking for strong returns from its Nationalist Party leadership, after Taipei's concession to Washington on beef imports.

“Beef is a fact, and people think that we have to accept it. On the part of the ruling party, the KMT, maybe the U.S. can offer something beyond people’s imaginations, for example, more advanced aircraft," said Liu Yi-jiun. "I think that would give the ruling party tremendous leverage to convince the local people here.”

U.S. officials say returns on such a scale are a long way off. On Sunday, the two sides issued joint statements in support of open trade in information technology services and fairness in two-way investment. They also set up working groups to continue discussions on American priorities such as investment in Taiwan and intellectual property rights. Negotiators hope to meet once a year.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid