TIFA, TPP top agenda for ties with US: King
By Joseph Yeh, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The top priority for the future development of Taiwan-United States relations should be the resumption of long-stalled Taiwan-U.S. Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) talks and the nation's ultimate inclusion to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Taiwan's top envoy to U.S. said Tuesday.
January 3, 2013, 12:02 am TWN
Speaking to overseas Taiwanese in the state of Maryland Tuesday, Taiwan's de facto ambassador to Washington, King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) said that he hopes to help further deepen bilateral ties during his tenure, especially on bilateral trades issue.
King noted that the top priority for Taiwan now is to resume the TIFA talks, and the sooner the better.
The TIFA talks have been suspended since 2007, mainly because of controversies over imports of American beef containing ractopamine.
In a long run, Taiwan hopes to gain support from the U.S. to join the TPP, a multilateral free trade agreement that aims to further liberalize the economies of the Asia-Pacific region, he added.
These two top priorities, once realized, are expected to largely boost bilateral business and trade exchanges, King said.
Meanwhile, Taiwan will continue to play a key strategic role in Asia as the re-elected U.S. President Barack Obama pushes his policy of rebalancing foreign relations with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region, the envoy said.
King made the comments when attending a Jan. 1 Republic of China flag-raising ceremony at a high school in Maryland.
This is reportedly the first time the top envoy attended such event after he officially took the post in December 2012. King's wife and three children also participated the same event.