MOEA to push for liberal trade, TPP entry in TIFA negotiations
By Linger Liu ,The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Bill Cho (卓士昭) said the details for talks under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) with the United States have yet to be finalized.
March 7, 2013, 12:00 am TWN
The TIFA talks will take place in Taipei on March 11 this year after more than five years of suspense. Deputy Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis will be the U.S. representative for the negotiations, the details of which have yet to be finalized.
Taiwan has recently been taking part in conference calls with the U.S. every day, said the vice minister.
Topics Under Negotiation
According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Taiwan has suggested the agenda include investment, trade services, the nation's attempts to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), free trade agreements, the reinforcement of chapters from the World Trade Organization and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, food safety and techniques in overcoming trade obstacles.
The vice minister said the ministry will try to put the Bilateral Investment Agreement (BIA) and the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement) into the negotiation agenda as well.
The negotiations to join the TPP will depend on the progress made in BIA talks, Cho said. The vice minister said the nation hopes the U.S. can help facilitate the nation's entry into the TPP, therefore the government will ask that this issue be placed on the agenda.
According to the ministry, the TIFA talks were first signed in 1994 as a communication channel for Taiwan-U.S. dialogue on trade-related perspectives in the absence of official diplomatic ties.
The talks have been suspended since 2007. Taiwan media said the suspension was a result of friction between the U.S. and Taiwan over the imports of U.S. beef containing the leanness-enhancing drug ractopamine.
Taiwan adjusted the restrictions on U.S.-imported beef products that contain ractopamine in July 2012.
The ministry expects to see a higher level of trade cooperation with the U.S. through the talks, the Economics Ministry said.
The ministry said the U.S. representatives will also be visiting trade-related government officials on the sidelines of the negotiation.