Taiwan, U.S. re-open TIFA trade talks

Taipei, March 10 (CNA) Trade talks between Taiwan and the United States, as part of the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), began Sunday following a six-year hiatus. Co-hosted by Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis and Vice Economics Minister Cho Shih-chao, the seventh round of TIFA talks was scheduled to be held from 9:05 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., followed by a 45-minute joint press briefing at 6 p.m., the Ministry of Economic Affairs said in a statement. Nearly 40 representatives from both countries are taking part in the long-stalled trade talks. Officials did not comment before the meeting began. Taiwan has suggested that the agenda should include a U.S.-Taiwan free trade agreement, cooperation concerning food safety, as well as Taiwan's inclusion in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) -- a proposed free trade group made up of Pacific-Rim countries, according to the ministry. The talks will also cover negotiations to expand the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) enforced by the World Trade Organization (WTO), which could reduce global tariffs on a variety of Taiwanese electronic goods, the ministry said. (By Jeffrey Wu)