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Taiwan, US sign historic first agreement under 21st-century trade initiative


Taiwan and the U.S. on Thursday signed a first agreement under the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade at the Washington headquarters of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The agreement was signed by Taiwan's Representative to the United States Hsiao Bi-khim and AIT Washington Office Managing Director Ingrid Larson. Minister without Portfolio and Taiwan's chief trade negotiator John Deng, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi and AIT Chair Laura Rosenberger also attended the signing ceremony.

In remarks made after the signing, Minister Deng said the trade agreement is the first fruit of the most wide-ranging and comprehensive trade negotiations conducted by Taiwan and the U.S. since 1979. The agreement represents a historic milestone in the Taiwan-U.S. trade relationship and is a critical step toward signing similar trade agreements with other major trading nations, he said.

The Executive Yuan's Office of Trade Negotiations stated that the agreement includes chapters on customs administration and trade facilitation, good regulatory practices, services domestic regulation, anti-corruption and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In addition, follow-up negotiations will cover emerging economic and trade issues of global concern, as well as matters related to high-standard trade agreements such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The agreement signed Thursday will improve the ability of Taiwan's industries—especially SMEs—to participate in international trade and economic investment activities. It also clearly demonstrates that Taiwan aligns with the international community and is capable of meeting high-standard trade commitments, thus increasing Taiwan's chances of joining regional trade agreements such as the CPTPP or signing further trade agreements with other countries.

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