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Taiwan hoping for resumption of TIFA talks with U.S. soon

Taiwan hoping for resumption of TIFA talks with U.S. soon

Washington, Jan. 20 (CNA) Taiwan is looking forward to a resumption of trade talks with the United States soon, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng said Sunday on arrival in Washington, D.C. Wang, who is heading a Taiwanese delegation to U.S. President Barack Obama's second-term inauguration, said Taiwan is grateful for Obama's support for its national cause and looks forward to resuming trade talks with the U.S. under the bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) as soon as possible. "We also hope the Obama administration will help Taiwan join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)," Wang said at a dinner party hosted by Taiwanese expatriate groups in honor of the delegation. Talks under TIFA, which was signed in 1994 as a framework for Taiwan-U.S. dialogue on trade-related issues in the absence of formal diplomatic ties, have been suspended since 2007 due to U.S. dissatisfaction with Taiwan's restrictions on imports of American beef. Although discussions have been held on resuming TIFA negotiations, Wang said, he hopes the process can be accelerated because the TIFA platform is very important to bilateral investment and economic cooperation. Wang said the United States is Taiwan's most important partner in the international community and that relations between the two countries have made great strides over the past four years under President Ma Ying-jeou's "low-profile, surprise-free" approach to bilateral engagements. "Progress has been made on exchange visits by high-level officials, on arms sales, trade and economic cooperation, as well as on support for Taiwan's participation in international organizations," Wang said. Taiwan's admission to the U.S. Visa-Waiver Program last year was yet another milestone in bilateral ties, he added. "We look forward to further upgrading of Taiwan-U.S. engagements and cooperation in the years ahead," the speaker said. Wang, who will attend Obama's inauguration ceremony Monday at the U.S. Capitol on behalf of President Ma, said he has come to Washington to warmly thank Obama for his support for Taiwan. "Despite the chilly weather in the U.S. capital, I and all the delegation members will attend the four-hour outdoor ceremony in an upbeat mood," Wang added. The Taiwan delegation includes lawmakers from the ruling and opposition parties as well as ruling Kuomintang Vice Chairman John Chiang. (By Tony Liao and Sofia Wu)


Updated : 2020-12-04 14:03 GMT+08:00