September 26, 2019
Remarks by AIT Acting Deputy Director Dannielle Andrews
at World Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce’s 25th Annual Meeting
September 26, 2019
Minister Wu Hsin-hsing, Minister Lin Chia-lung, Mayor Tseng Wen-tsan, distinguished representatives of the WTCC, ladies and gentlemen, good morning!
It is an honor to be here, to have shared the stage with President Tsai and to have heard her remarks. We at AIT are grateful for the invitation to the WTCC annual meeting and would like to share a few thoughts with all of you. Especially noteworthy as you celebrate your 25th annual meeting. As you may know, this year also marks the 40th anniversary of the American Institute in Taiwan.
To celebrate this anniversary, we have created a year-long program called AIT@40 where each month, we celebrate a specific aspect of the U.S.-Taiwan relationship, like our trade and investment cooperation in April, our security partnership in August, or our amazing educational ties this month. We have discovered that our relationship is so vast that we may need to add a few extra months to the year!
As Director Christensen outlined last year, our vision is for a free and open Indo-Pacific. “Free” means every nation is free from external coercion. Every nation should have the freedom to determine its own path and its own destiny. “Open” means open markets and open societies. History shows freedom and openness are the key ingredients for prosperity and peace. It is no coincidence that almost all of the world’s most prosperous countries combine free markets with democratic participation and principles.
Taiwan remains a critical partner for us in advancing this vision. Taiwan is a vibrant democracy with an open market economy that stands out as a model in the region for successful development. As the news is understandably focused on the U.S.-China trade tensions, I want to take the opportunity to underscore the positive trends that we see.
Taiwan remains one of our most important trading partners. Two-way trade hit new record highs in 2018, with U.S. exports to Taiwan up 17.5% and Taiwan exports to the United States were up almost 8% compared with 2017. And 2019 is shaping up to be another banner year. Taiwan is the our 11th largest trading partner, and of the ten economies ahead of Taiwan in terms of our total trade, only Mexico and Canada trade more with us in per capita terms than Taiwan.
Investment between the United States and Taiwan is strong and dynamic. The total stock of two-way investment is $25 billion as of 2018. It is not difficult to understand why U.S. companies are so committed to this market. It is because Taiwan is a trusted partner. When firms invest here, they feel confident that their intellectual property is safe, that trade secret protections will be enforced, that courts will adhere to the rule of law, and that the authorities are committed to shared democratic and free market values. As a result, many major U.S. technology firms are substantially increasing their investments in Taiwan.
Investment is, of course, a two-way street, and we are pleased that for the second year in a row, Taiwan sent the largest delegation to the SelectUSA Investment Summit to promote investment in the United States.
Beyond deepening our economic relationship, AIT continues to promote stronger security ties between the U.S. and Taiwan, more people-to-people exchanges, and a preservation of Taiwan’s international space. As Beijing continues its campaign to shrink Taiwan’s international space and change the cross-Strait status quo through coercion, we seek to highlight all the ways that Taiwan can contribute to a more free and more open Indo-Pacific. Whether it is through consultations on democratic governance, trainings on energy security, or cooperation on cutting edge weather satellites, the U.S.-Taiwan relationship is a force for good, and we are eager to continue our cooperation for the next 40 years and beyond.
In whatever location you currently reside, I assure you that the United States stands ready and willing to deepen our cooperation in the public and private sectors to advance our shared values.