And from the U.S. perspective, a free trade agreement with Taiwan would also bring modest economic benefits. The IMF has put Taiwan`s economy in place. Its GDP of nearly $600 billion lies between Switzerland and Poland. But this underestimates its commercial role: Taiwan is America`s tenth largest trading partner, ahead of India or France. In August, Tsai said Taiwan would ease restrictions on U.S. imports of pork and beef, which were seen as the main obstacle to a trade agreement between the two countries. Taiwan had blocked the importation of certain meat products containing ractopamine, an animal feed additive that is banned in most countries. Friday`s talks, under the auspices of a new dialogue on the partnership between economic prosperity, were not linked to a possible trade agreement, but focused on areas such as science and technology, supply chain restructuring and 5G networks. In a statement on the talks, the U.S.
State Department said they had agreed to negotiate a scientific and technological agreement and that future discussions would help strengthen their economic relations and “our shared commitment to free market movement, entrepreneurship and freedom.” But no discussion is ongoing or planned. On the one hand, the United States is ambivalent about trade liberalization, with USTR chief Lighthizer explicitly criticizing free trade agreements. Taiwan, for its part, also has national constituencies sensitive to additional competition. The most important thing is that Beijing`s shadow falls on the talks. It would be a mistake for the United States to pursue a free trade agreement as part of its policy toward China or to use Taiwan as a negotiating ground, and Taiwan also has reason to be cautious. A friendly improvement in trade is usually a good idea, but not when it is done to attract a third party. A step towards better economic relations with Taiwan should not be seen as degrading. The group of 42 Republicans and eight Democrats sent a letter to Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, in which he viewed Taiwan`s record as an economic partner and ally of U.S. security and encouraged it to begin the formal process of negotiating a comprehensive trade agreement. The debate on a possible bilateral free trade agreement between Taiwan and the United States has been going on for years, and the Taiwanese and the United States are reacting with a goat`s response to the idea. A U.S.-Taiwan trade deal has bipartisan U.S.
support, but President-elect Joe Biden has not publicly disclosed his intentions for his policy toward China. He is seen as a proponent of multilateral solutions, which has raised fears in Taiwan of trying to re-engage with Beijing. Trade between Taiwan and the United States last year was $85.5 billion, with the United States running a deficit of $23.1 billion. Taiwan was the 14th largest U.S. export market in 2019. On Saturday, representatives of both sides made few concrete commitments and announced expectations and aspirations for the future bilateral partnership. But Taiwan hopes the meetings will move toward something concrete, such as a trade deal. Taiwan and the United States do not have a free trade agreement.
In August, however, Taiwan announced the easing of import restrictions on U.S. beef and pork, reducing a trade barrier for U.S. companies that is expected to pave the way for new trade negotiations. WASHINGTON (Reuters) – 500,000,000,000