AmCham Taipei, US-Taiwan Business Council form coalition to boost BTA efforts

Coalition will launch events, publish strategy papers to underline need for trade accord

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AmCham Taipei Chairman C.W. Chin 

AmCham Taipei Chairman C.W. Chin  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Taipei and the U.S.-Taiwan Business Council (USTBC) have formed a coalition to promote efforts toward signing a Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA) between the two countries, reports said Wednesday (Sept. 16).

The campaign for a BTA gained renewed impetus as Taiwan announced last month it was lifting a ban on the import of pork with ractopamine from the United States, effective Jan. 1.

In a news release, AmCham Taipei said the “U.S.-Taiwan Bilateral Trade Agreement Coalition” will provide opportunities for businesses and organizations to express their support for negotiating and signing a BTA. Workshops, lectures, editorials, and strategy papers will serve to identify priority issues and promote the case for a BTA, AmCham said.

USTBC President Rupert Hammond-Chambers said that Taiwan’s commitment to trade liberalization has been fulfilled by the ending of the pork ban. He also advocated against linking the BTA effort to trade between the U.S. and China.

"To place a hold on progress with Taiwan, a top ten trading market, over Chinese concerns is self-censorship and contrary to American interests," Hammond-Chambers added.

Last week, one of Taiwan’s top business groups, the Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce, Taiwan (CNAIC, 工商協進會) also spoke out in favor of concluding a BTA. The group issued a joint statement with AmCham Taipei, with its leaders describing a trade accord as the way to move forward.