June 30, 2021
Remarks by AIT Director W. Brent Christensen at the Opening of TIFA Council Meeting
June 30, 2021
Minister Deng, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative McCartin, Deputy Negotiator Yang, TECRO Representative Hsiao, U.S. and Taiwan colleagues, Good morning and good evening. I am extremely pleased to be a part of today’s meeting of the U.S.-Taiwan Trade and Investment Framework Agreement Council.
As my three years as AIT Director soon come to an end, the relaunch of the TIFA process is a fitting conclusion to my time here. Some of you may recall that when I assumed my position as AIT Director, I outlined four priorities, one of which was to promote stronger U.S.-Taiwan economic and commercial cooperation. As my team and I worked to strengthen and deepen the U.S.-Taiwan economic relationship, we viewed the resumption of TIFA talks as an essential element of our revitalized engagement on trade.
Over the past few years, we have expanded our economic cooperation on multiple fronts. This include raising awareness on securing resilient supply chains with Taiwan and other likeminded partners, and expanding the digital trade ties that underpin innovation and drive economic growth. We have collaborated on increasing trade facilitation, expanding environmental cooperation, and ensuring better protections for worker rights.
Moreover, during my time at AIT, we have seen the great strides Taiwan has made to cement better protections for intellectual property rights, open cloud services for financial institutions, and resolve other issues in the relationship. We know the Tsai administration is committed to advancing the bilateral economic relationship, including by adopting science-based international standards, even when it requires difficult political decisions.
These encouraging developments have provided the foundation for constructive and positive discussions today. Equally important will be continued engagement through both the existing TIFA working groups and the establishment of new working groups. I am confident that today’s talks will help put the U.S.-Taiwan economic relationship on the right path for more cooperation and more progress in the future.