US to hold TIFA talks with deputy economics minister
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 the U.S.proposed 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.