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July 27, 2017

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Minister lays out agenda for restarted trade talks with US

TAIPEI--Taiwan and the United States have tentatively agreed to discuss e-commerce and standards formulation when much-anticipated bilateral trade talks resume, Vice Economics Minister Francis Liang said Friday.

Standards formulation is aimed at avoiding trade barriers and bringing industries in-line with international standards, Liang said after three days of talks with U.S. trade officials on deepening economic ties and issues regarding the long-stalled Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). Liang noted, however, that no date has been set for the resumption of the TIFA talks, but he hoped they will resume by the end of the year.

"We hope they can resume as soon as possible," he added.

The U.S. delegation, led by Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Eric Altbach, was in Taiwan Oct. 23-25, according to the American Institute in Taiwan, which represents U.S. interests in the absence of official ties.

The visit came after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in Vladivostok, Russia last month that Taiwan and the U.S. will hold an expert- or working-level meeting on trade issues of mutual interest.

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