TIFA talks focus on agriculture exports to US
By Linger Liu, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Talks with the United States under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) continued in Taipei yesterday, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said, with agricultural product labeling and trade barriers the key topics of discussion.
March 12, 2013, 12:19 am TWN
U.S. Deputy Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis left Taiwan yesterday but negotiations will continue today, according to the MOEA. Talks on Sunday covered issues regarding patent laws, food security, pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables, and issues concerning agricultural exports to the U.S.
MOEA officials said that due to the tight conference schedule on the first day, it was not able to engage in detailed discussions on all issues. According to the MOEA, further discussion is set to be held regarding patent laws. The MOEA noted that U.S. officials are interested in understanding more about Taiwan's situation regarding pirated products, including the issue of intellectual property in universities.
Imports to the US
Due to amendments to U.S. laws on food safety, the U.S. requested that agricultural products and processed food being imported into to the U.S. show clear labeling that provides details about the products, such as the geographic origin of ingredients.
MOEA officials said this requirement may cause future inconvenience regarding agricultural product exports to the U.S. Taiwan will pursue further discussions on the details of the issue, the ministry added.
Taiwan hopes to see Dancing Doll Orchid and guava exports to the U.S. commence, said the MOEA. The U.S. said it will look to further discuss these matters with the Council of Agriculture.
U.S. representatives also expressed their concerns about the progress of and amendments to Taiwan's Uniform Trade Secret Act, said MOEA officials.
More Trade Cooperation
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Taiwan and the U.S. yesterday agreed on a selection of matters relating to international investment as well as issues on telecommunication and transportation.
The agreement will lead to the formation of a team under the structure of the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement) while the U.S. has also agreed to provide further details about the TBT agreement at the World Trade Organization (WTO) as well as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.
A day has not yet be set to put into effect the TBT agreement changes, said the MOEA.
MOFA said that the talks are a stepping-stone. They show that relations between Taiwan and the U.S. are improving, it said, adding that the talks will be beneficial for future development of bilateral relations in general.