Taiwan says realistic about U.S. trade deal, but deal will eventually

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In this news, we discuss the Taiwan says realistic about U.S. trade deal, but deal will eventually

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TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan is under no illusions it can quickly sign a long-awaited free trade deal with the United States, but believes that when the time is right, “success will come naturally,” said Friday the island’s chief negotiator.

Taiwan has long sought to strike a bilateral trade deal with the United States, the largest donor and arms supplier to the island claimed by China.

Last year, the government lifted the import ban on pork containing a leanness-improving additive, ractopamine, removing a major obstacle to a deal with Washington.

But President Joe Biden has only just taken office and his candidate for Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told lawmakers this week they would prioritize domestic investments in workers and infrastructure before s’ engage in new free trade agreements.

Minister without Portfolio John Deng, who heads the trade talks, told Reuters that the government of Taiwan knows full well that for the United States signing free trade agreements with anyone is a major problem, especially with a new government in place.

“We fully understand US policy and have no unrealistic fantasies,” he said, speaking in his office near the presidential office. “The new government has its priorities and of course we have to understand that.

But Deng said he was confident a deal would eventually come to pass, highlighting the pork decision and support for a deal among U.S. lawmakers.

“We always thought it was ‘when the conditions are right, success will flow naturally’.”

Trade-dependent Taiwan is also considering joining the revamped version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the 11-Country Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for a Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), signed in 2018, without the United States.

“This is a very high priority project for us. But we also understand that this involves a lot of other countries, 11 of them, so we are not willing to set a timeline or a target, ”Deng said.

While Taiwan is a member of the World Trade Organization, many countries are reluctant to sign trade deals with the tech powerhouse, fearing objections from China, although Taiwan has free trade agreements with Singapore and New Zealand. Zealand.

President Tsai Ing-wen told the newly appointed de facto ambassador to Taipei this week that she hoped they could start negotiations on a bilateral free trade or investment agreement.

Great Britain has been looking for such agreements since leaving the European Union.

“There were no negotiations but the British side knows Taiwan’s interest,” said Deng, when asked about the chances of a deal with Britain.

Report by Jeanny Kao and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel

Original © Thomson Reuters

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