US and Taiwan announce plan to start trade talks

Taipei, Taiwan - The United States and Taiwan have announced trade talks will officially launch after both sides agreed on a mandate.

Taiwan has had an independent government since 1949, but China considers the island part of its territory.
Taiwan has had an independent government since 1949, but China considers the island part of its territory.  © REUTERS

Both sides had set out the broad objectives for trade talks aiming to "deepen our trade and investment relationship, advance mutual trade priorities based on shared values, and promote innovation and inclusive economic growth for our workers and businesses," Deputy US trade representative Sarah Bianchi said in a statement late Wednesday Washington time.

Taiwan's Office of Trade Negotiations also announced the launch of formal talks early Thursday Taipei time, saying they are aiming for negotiations to attract more US and overseas investment and pave the way for Taiwan to join international trade blocs such as the Japan-led Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Tariffs will not be discussed, Taiwan's trade office said.

Trade negotiations are expected to start in early autumn, the US Trade Representative's office announced. Taiwan's state-run Central News Agency reported the same time frame.

China protests continue as police crack down on demonstrators
China China protests continue as police crack down on demonstrators

Washington and Taipei had unveiled the US-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade in June.

The latest announcement on the talks comes after a recent visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan drew China's ire. Beijing started large-scale military maneuvers around Taiwan in response.

After a delegation of US lawmakers traveled to Taiwan a few days ago, Beijing spoke of a new "provocation" from the US and announced further maneuvers.

Taiwan has had an independent government since 1949, but China considers the island part of its territory. Beijing rejects official contacts between other countries and Taipei.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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