The United States and Taiwan have successfully reached an initial agreement on the first part of the US-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade, signaling the further expansion of US influence in Taiwan. US Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced the milestone in a statement on Thursday, emphasising its significance in bolstering the economic relationship between the two nations. The deal primarily focuses on customs and border procedures, regulatory practices, and small business, as per a report from Sputnik.
According to Tai, this agreement will provide American businesses with greater opportunities to access the Taiwanese market and serve Taiwanese customers. Additionally, it aims to establish more transparent and streamlined regulatory procedures that can facilitate investment and economic growth for both large and small- to medium-sized enterprises.
The signing of this initial agreement marks the beginning of a series of negotiations between the US and Taiwan. The two countries will now delve into more complex trade areas such as agriculture, digital trade, labor and environmental standards, as well as non-market policies and practices. Tai expressed enthusiasm about continuing these negotiations and finalising a comprehensive trade agreement that addresses the economic challenges of the 21st century.
In response to the achievement, Taiwan's Office of Trade Negotiations hailed the agreement as "historically significant" and expressed its commitment to concluding negotiations on all remaining issues by the end of this year.
While China has yet to comment on the matter, it is anticipated that Beijing will strongly oppose the US-Taiwan initiative. The People's Republic of China (PRC) has consistently urged Washington to cease all official interactions with Taipei. The reaction from Beijing is expected to be one of anger, highlighting the sensitive nature of US-Taiwan relations within the context of cross-strait dynamics.
The US-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade represents a significant development in the economic partnership between the United States and Taiwan. As negotiations progress, both nations aim to create a comprehensive and high-standard trade agreement that addresses the modern challenges faced by their economies. The outcome of these discussions will shape the future of US-Taiwan economic cooperation and have broader implications for regional dynamics in East Asia.