Taiwan, U.S. finalize first agreement under trade initiative

  • Taiwan and the United States have concluded negotiations on the first phase of the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade, which is expected to be signed by the two sides in the coming weeks, the Office of Trade Negotiations said on 19 May.
  • Officially called the “First Agreement” under the initiative, its text comprises eight chapters and over 80 articles and is being called the most detailed trade agreement signed between Taiwan and the U.S. since 1979, when formal bilateral ties were severed.
  • The office described the document as a milestone that will serve as a crucial “building block” in efforts to negotiate a free trade agreement between the two countries and shows that Taiwan’s trade system meets high international standards.
  • Unlike standard trade pacts, this initial agreement did not cover tariff reductions or exemptions. Rather, it outlined practices and procedures related to a host of topics aimed at streamlining and strengthening trade relations.
  • The areas covered were customs and trade facilitation, regulatory practices, domestic regulation of services, anti-corruption practices, and small and medium-sized enterprises.
  • Under the new deal, the two sides have committed to working to facilitate bilateral trade and investment flows, improve regulatory practices, promote anti-corruption measures, and minimize unnecessary formalities at the border.
  • It also establishes a foundation for addressing trade and investment challenges and opportunities over time.
  • Most of the provisions offer measures aimed at small, incremental improvements.

External Link : https://focustaiwan.tw/business/202305190012