On Wednesday, U.S. officials announced that new trade talks would be launched with Taiwan, just days after the Biden administration excluded the Chinese-claimed island from its economic plan to counter China’s influence in Asia.
During a phone briefing, two senior U.S. administration officials told reporters that Washington and Taipei would “move quickly” to develop a roadmap for the planned US-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade in the coming weeks. The initiative will be followed by in-person meetings in June in the US capital.
The initiative will address the issues of customs facilitation, fighting corruption, common standards for digital trade, labor rights, high environmental standards, and efforts to curb state-owned enterprises and non-market practices. The initiative aims to “do this by reaching an agreement with high standard commitments that create inclusive and durable prosperity.”
In some ways, the bilateral initiative resembles the U.S. government’s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), which Biden launched during a visit to Seoul and Tokyo last week. Although Taiwan is democratically self-governed, the United States has not invited it to the IPEF talks.
A U.S official said the trade talks with Taiwan would complement several existing dialogues with Taiwan, including one involving export controls and other supply chain issues.