I would like to thank Deputy Minister Cho for hosting a productive and comprehensive TIFA Council meeting today and for welcoming the U.S. delegation to Taiwan.
The TIFA Council is an important vehicle for dialogue between two important trading partners.
Taiwan is our 10th largest goods trading partner and the United States is now Taiwan’s second largest trading partner.
The TIFA process remains the key forum to find ways to further expand and enhance this important trade and investment relationship across the diverse and vibrant areas of our two economies.
Today we discussed a number of issues, including agriculture, intellectual property rights, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, investment, as well as technical barriers to trade.
We surveyed progress to implement commitments made at last year’s TIFA Council meeting and also looked ahead to identify areas to drive further concrete progress.
We look forward to working together in the coming months to ensure that the TIFA remains a vibrant and active forum to produce results for our two economies’ businesses and peoples, including by supporting policies to encourage innovation, strengthening intellectual property rights protection and enforcement, and implementing regulatory reforms to address burdensome technical barriers to trade.
While important understandings were reached and we look forward to follow-up, there remain challenges in need of intensified engagement from both sides.
We look forward to continuing discussions on issues across the board.
In the area of agriculture, we particularly have more work to do to help ensure that Taiwan’s food safety regulations are based on science and consistent with international standards and Taiwan’s prior trade commitments, including with respect to pork, beef, and other agricultural products.
From today’s meeting, we have set high goals, and I am confident that we can reach them through the hard work of many of the agencies and ministries represented at the TIFA meeting.
As we work to implement our TIFA agenda, we continue to support Taiwan’s efforts to undertake high standard domestic reforms that open up foreign trade and investment opportunities. This is the most effective way to set a course for closer economic ties with the United States and other trading partners.
I look forward to continuing to work together to further strengthen our trade and investment ties through the TIFA.