US to hold TIFA talks with deputy eco­nom­ics min­is­ter

The China Post - - LOCAL -

The latest round of ma­jor trade talks be­tween Tai­wan and the United States un­der the bi­lat­eral Trade and In­vest­ment Frame­work Agree­ment (TIFA) will be held Thurs­day in Taipei.

Deputy United States Trade Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Robert Hol­ley­man will lead an in­ter­a­gency del­e­ga­tion to at­tend the talks. He will co­host the meet­ing with Cho Shi­hchao ( ), Tai­wan’s deputy eco­nom­ics min­is­ter, ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Eco­nomic Af­fairs.

Hol­ley­man, who ar­rived in Tai­wan ear­lier Wed­nes­day, will hold a joint press con­fer­ence with Cho af­ter the Thurs­day meet­ing, ac­cord­ing to the Amer­i­can In­sti­tute in Tai­wan (AIT), which rep­re­sents U.S. in­ter­ests in Tai­wan in the ab­sence of bi­lat­eral diplo­matic ties.

Hol­ley­man’s del­e­ga­tion in­cludes of­fi­cials from the Of­fice of the United States Trade Rep­re­sen­ta­tive and the U.S. De­part­ments of State, Com­merce, and Agri­cul­ture, the AIT said.

“Both sides will use the latest round of TIFA talks to ex­change views on ma­jor trade is­sues and seek co­op­er­a­tive op­por­tu­ni­ties in the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity,” the min­istry said.

It is un­der­stood that the U.S. side wants the is­sue of ac­cess of its agri­cul­tural prod­ucts in Tai­wan to be a top pri­or­ity on the agenda, while Tai­wan wants to dis­cuss its bid to join the­posed Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship (TPP) and the ink­ing of a bi­lat­eral in­vest­ment agree­ment (BIA).

Tai­wan pre­vi­ously pro­hib­ited im­ports of beef con­tain­ing racto- pamine, but lifted the ban in July 2012, set­ting the stage for the re­sump­tion of TIFA talks in March 2013.

The talks, orig­i­nally set to take place in April this year, were de­layed be­cause the U.S. was fo­cus­ing its trade ne­go­ti­a­tion ef­forts on is­sues such as fi­nal­iz­ing ne­go­ti­a­tions on the TPP.

The TIFA was signed in 1994 as a frame­work for Tai­wan-U.S. di­a­logue on trade-re­lated is­sues. The last TIFA talks were held in Washington in April 2014.

Dur­ing a visit that will last un­til Fri­day, Hol­ley­man is also sched­uled to meet with Pres­i­dent Ma Ying-jeou ( ), Vice Premier Si­mon Chang ( ), For­eign Min­is­ter David Lin ( ), and Eco­nom­ics Min­is­ter John Deng ( ), ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs.

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