“Negotiations under the US-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade will begin soon,” Taiwan’s president says, assured that the initiative will facilitate a strong trade agreement.
Taiwan is confident it can sign a
“high standard” trade deal with the United States under a new
framework, President Tsai Ing-wen has told a visiting group of US lawmakers.
Tsai told the bipartisan US lawmaker delegation at a meeting in the presidential office on Thursday that Taiwan would work with the United States to forge even closer trade and economic ties.
“We have already announced that negotiations under the US-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade will begin soon. We are confident that through this initiative, we can sign a high-standard trade agreement and advance bilateral trade development,” she said.
Washington and Taipei unveiled the US-Taiwan Initiative on
21st Century Trade in June, days after the Biden administration
excluded the Chinese-claimed island from its Asia-focused
economic plan designed to counter China’s growing
Taiwan has long pushed for a broad free trade deal with the
United States, its most important international backer and
foreign arms supplier even in the absence of formal diplomatic
Deepening economic relations
Stephanie Murphy, a Democrat from Florida who sits on the
House Armed Services Committee, told Tsai she supported such an
“One of the most important things Congress can do right now
is to deepen the economic relationship with Taiwan, and in
particular, by pushing for a high-quality free trade agreement
between the US and Taiwan,” she said.
The group is the latest in a string of senior officials from
the United States to visit Taiwan since US House Speaker Nancy
Pelosi came early last month.
Her visit infuriated Beijing, which responded by launching war games near the island.
Tsai thanked the delegation for conveying strong
congressional support for Taiwan just as China has been carrying
out its drills, which have scaled back but continued.
“Taiwan will not back down,” Tsai said. “We will actively
deepen our cooperation with democratic partners to jointly
safeguard peace and stability in the region.”
US visits ‘reinforce Taiwan’s determination’ to defend itself