The discussion around a possible bilateral free trade agreement between Taiwan and the US has been drawn out for years, with Taiwan requesting and the US acting lukewarm toward the idea.
At stake in any kind of bilateral trade or investment deal here is, first and foremost, the political standing of Taiwan vis-a-vis China and the rest of world. An FTA with Washington would amount to US recognition of Taiwan’s sovereignty and independence from China. This goes against Chinese policy and could trigger military action. The US adheres to Beijing’s "one China" policy while it maintains unofficial relations with Taiwan.
The economics of a potential deal are another story. Taiwan is the US’ eighth largest trading partner, and sixth largest importer of US agricultural goods, and wants its own terms of access to US markets. But the US insists that the actual benefits of an FTA for Taiwan would not be important, even though Washington constantly pressures Taiwan to improve its policies on electronic commerce, government procurement, intellectual property, food safety and US beef for the benefit of American corporations.
In the meantime, the two governments, through their respective proxy agencies, signed a sort of Trade and Investment Framework Agreement in 1994 and conduct discussions through the TIFA Council.
last update: May 2012
For the next 10 months, the US and China will be following Taiwanese politics closely. Economic differences between political parties will be an issue — most importantly how they affect Taiwan’s political future. At the same time, Taiwan and China will be watching how the US pursues its geopolitical interests in relation to both of them.
A delegation of business leaders has set off for the United States to promote a Taiwan-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
Five members of the US House of Representatives have proposed a resolution in support of signing a free trade agreement (FTA) between the US and Taiwan.
Taiwan should focus more on a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) rather than on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in the upcoming trade talks with the U.S., Stephen M. Young, director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), told a press conference yesterday.
Council of Labor Affairs Chairman Lee Ying-yuan has left for the United States to clear up misunderstanding over Taiwan’s labor policy.
Following last week’s inking of an accord between the United States and South Korea for future implementation of a free trade agreement, Taipei has good reasons to urge the U.S. side to restart the FTA talks with the ROC, which were unilaterally suspended by Washington in 2006.
Taiwan’s Council for Economic Planning and Development estimates show that the FTA between the US and South Korea will have a US$2 billion impact on Taiwan, or approximately 5 percent of its total exports, a spokesman said on Tuesday.
Pointing out that few problems exist in business and trade exchanges between Taiwan and the United States, a Taiwan economics official said Thursday that he is confident Taiwan will win the U.S. private sector’s support for the signing of a free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries.
Taiwan’s representative to the WTO, Lin Yi-fu, yesterday called for Taiwanese entrepreneurs operating in the US to help drum up US support for a free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries.
There was a time when a lot of our electronics were stamped "Made in Taiwan." These days, a lot of them are still made by Taiwanese companies but may be stamped "Made in Mexico."