US and Taiwan Agree on First Part of ’21st Century’ Trade Pact

By Douglas F. Roberts, The Chicago Times

May 19, 2023

WASHINGTON – The US and Taiwan have reached an agreement on Thursday on the first stage of the historic “21st Century” trade initiative despite increased bullying from Communist China.

The agreement now paves the way for the US and Taiwan to commence negotiations on trade areas including agriculture, digital trade, labor, and non-market policies, and practices.  Both parties hope that all remaining issues will be resolved by the end of the year.  Talks between the US and Taiwan trade officials began last August.

“We look forward to continuing these negotiations and finalizing a robust and high-standard trade agreement that tackles 21st Century economic challenges,” US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in a statement.

The trade agreement strives to strengthen economic bonds between the US and Taiwan and counter the economic coercion, some say extortion, by Communist China.  The US, as well as many Western democratic governments, reject Communist China’s bullying of the tiny island nation, which it claims as part of the CCP empire.

Other goals of the agreement include reducing red tape for US exports to Taiwan, allowing electronic filing of customs forms, and online payment for duties and fees.  In addition, the agreement hopes to streamline operating licenses for firms seeking to operate across borders and foster fair competition.