April 5, 2014
Washington, D.C. – U.S. and Taiwan trade authorities concluded the eighth Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council meeting under the auspices of the American Institute in Taiwan and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States. Wendy Cutler, Acting Deputy United States Trade Representative, and Cho Shih-Chao, Taiwan’s Vice Minister of Economic Affairs, co-led the discussions to enhance the longstanding U.S.-Taiwan trade and investment relationship between the United States and Taiwan. Other participants in the talks included AIT and the Departments of State, Agriculture, Commerce, and the Treasury, as well as the Copyright Office and the Food and Drug Administration.
The U.S.-Taiwan TIFA process serves as a key mechanism to strengthen our robust commercial ties and covers the broad range of trade and investment issues important to U.S. and Taiwan stakeholders. The United States welcomed the concrete steps Taiwan authorities took in the months following the 2013 TIFA to improve trade secrets protection and address pharmaceutical issues. At the TIFA Council meeting today, the two sides held in-depth discussions on a range of long-standing agricultural trade issues and agreed on the importance of making meaningful progress on these issues in order to deepen their overall trade ties.
U.S. and Taiwan experts agreed to continue fully utilizing the Investment and the Technical Barriers to Trade Working Groups launched at last year’s TIFA Council meeting and build on recent positive steps being taken by Taiwan to clarify investment criteria, lift data localization requirements in the financial sector, and to revise standards and multi-pack labeling requirements. The Taiwan authorities outlined plans to devote necessary resources to strengthen IPR enforcement. The two sides recognized the need for further engagement on intellectual property protection, including in the challenging but critical area of online piracy, as well as on pharmaceutical and medical device issues over the next year.
The two sides updated each other on regional and multilateral initiatives. They highlighted their close cooperation on various initiatives in APEC, their work towards the prompt conclusion of a balanced and commercially significant expansion of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) at the WTO, achieving entry into force and full implementation of the WTO trade facilitation agreement, and efforts to advance the Trade in Services Agreement negotiations.
The United States and Taiwan have a long-standing and vibrant trade relationship. Taiwan is our 12th-largest trading partner and a top-10 destination for U.S. agricultural and food exports. In 2013, total two-way goods trade between the United States and Taiwan was $64 billion. The TIFA, signed in 1994, provides the primary mechanism for trade dialogue between the United States and Taiwan authorities to expand trade and investment links and deepen cooperation.