The United States and Taiwan officials outlined plans to enter into formal negotiations for a sweeping trade treaty today. The first round of negotiations is expected to take place early this fall. According to a statement from the office of the US Trade Representation, topics on the agenda are agriculture, digital trade, and labor environmental standards.
Together, the trade agreement seeks to remove “removing discriminatory barriers to trade” and address “distortive practices of state-owned enterprises and non-market policies and practices.”
The US-Taiwan negotiations demonstrate Washington’s support of Taipei amidst rising tensions with Beijing, which has threatened further action. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi paid a visit to Taiwan early this month in the wake of military drills held by the Chinese government.
Government officials in Taiwan are concerned about the country’s reliance on China for trade, considering 42% of the country’s total exports last year went to China and Hong Kong, while only 14% went to the US. A closer trade relationship with the US could help strengthen resistance if faced with trade-related coercion from China.
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