High-level Taiwan-US economic talks set to begin Sept. 18: Report

US delegation also likely to attend memorial for late Taiwanese president Lee Teng-hui

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U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Keith Krach (Twitter photo)

U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Keith Krach (Twitter photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — High-level economic talks between Taiwan and the U.S. are reportedly taking place next Friday (Sept. 18), with discussions expected to touch upon restructuring supply chains and economic cooperation in the region.

Rumors about a visit to Taipei by the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, Keith Krach, have been circulating since he was appointed to host the U.S.-Taiwan Economic and Commercial Dialogue at the end of August. Taiwanese authorities have so far declined to confirm the news, saying only that arrangements for the talks are still being negotiated.

Nevertheless, it was reported on Sunday (Sept. 13) that Krach will visit Taiwan and host economic talks scheduled for Friday. The U.S. delegation will arrive in Taiwan Thursday on a chartered flight and return to the U.S. after attending the memorial ceremony of former Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) on Saturday, the Liberty Times reported.

Krach’s Taiwan visit will not be finalized until the U.S. administration makes a formal announcement, the report cited a source familiar with the matter as saying. Should the visit be confirmed, Krach will be the second high-level U.S. Cabinet official to visit Taiwan this year, following Secretary of Health and Human Resources Alex Azar's trip last month.

The bilateral talks will be focused on restructuring supply chains in the post-pandemic era as well as protection of trade secrets, screening of Chinese and foreign investment, and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, the report said. The Taiwanese negotiation team will be headed by Vice Premier Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津), who will likely be joined by the Cabinet’s main trade negotiator John Deng (鄧振中) and Economic Minister Wang Mei-hua (王美花).