Taiwan Seeks to Start Free-Trade Talks With U.S.
By Chun Han Wong
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said she wants to start talks
on a free-trade pact with the U.S., part of a broad effort to
deepen her island democracy's partnership with Washington and
resist pressure from Beijing.
In an online speech aired Wednesday, Ms. Tsai said starting
trade negotiations are among her second-term priorities in
strengthening relations with the U.S., a major trading partner and
key arms supplier for Taiwan.
Ms. Tsai didn't set a time frame for the talks. Progress toward
formal negotiations have been stalled for roughly two decades over
disagreements that include Taiwanese policy on chemicals used in
the production of American pork and beef. "We must be clear-eyed on
how we can move forward" on a free-trade deal, she warned, while
signaling a willingness to overcome the differences.
"For too long, closer trade relations have been hindered by
technicalities that account for just a small fraction of two-way
trade," Ms. Tsai said in her comments, delivered to an online forum
organized by two Washington think tanks, the Hudson Institute and
the Center for American Progress.
"We want to work together to resolve these issues in a way that
is safe for our consumers and also consistent with established
scientific standards," she said.
The U.S. is Taiwan's second largest trading partner. Two-way
trade in goods and services amounted to about $94.5 billion in
2018, according to U.S. government data.
China's ruling Communist Party, which has never governed Taiwan
but claims the island as its territory, has used its economic clout
and global influence to pressure Ms. Tsai's government and isolate
Write to Chun Han Wong at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 12, 2020 10:50 ET (14:50 GMT)
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