TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The policies of the United States’ Trump Administration toward Taiwan are schizophrenic, former American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Richard Bush told a seminar in Taipei Wednesday (June 5).
The event was attended by several prominent Taiwanese, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) founder Morris Chang (張忠謀) and former Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), the Central News Agency reported.
Bush explained that while U.S. policies on foreign relations and defense might be favorable toward Taiwan, that was not the case with trade policies.
According to a recent Pentagon report, Taiwan’s importance, strength, prosperity and democracy were in the U.S. interest, Bush said.
The State Department and Congress also favored improving ties with the island, even though most of the recent resolutions approved by the latter were not binding on the president, the former AIT chief remarked.
However, as the trade war between the U.S. and China continued to rage, Taiwanese businesses might be forced to choose sides, Bush cautioned, as they would not necessarily benefit.
Before a new trade agreement could be signed, Washington would also expect Taiwanese moves in response to its steel tariffs and to its demands about U.S. pork and beef, he added.
Bush warned that Taiwanese should not assume that U.S. support for the island stood at 100 percent, since some parts of the administration favored Taiwan, but other parts did not.