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Taiwan and US agree to form trade working groups

Taiwan hopes to move toward bilateral trade agreement

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Taiwan and the U.S. will set up joint working groups to discuss trade issues 

Taiwan and the U.S. will set up joint working groups to discuss trade issues  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — At the 11th round of the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) talks Wednesday (June 30), Taiwan and the United States agreed to form working groups to discuss topics throughout the year, while Taiwan voiced interest in a bilateral trade agreement.

The two countries last held TIFA talks in 2016, with the latest round seen as a breakthrough. Deputy Trade Representative Yang Jen-ni (楊珍妮) led the Taiwanese side at Wednesday’s video conference, while the U.S. team was headed by Terrence McCartin, the assistant trade representative for China affairs.

After the talks, Trade Representative John Deng (鄧振中) described Taiwan-U.S. relations as so close that they could not be done justice by just one round of trade talks a year. Therefore, more frequent talks on a variety of subjects should be held, allowing for the relationship to grow even closer, CNA reported him as saying.

During his opening speech Wednesday morning, Deng expressed the hope that the TIFA talks could pave the way toward a bilateral trade agreement. Yang named the environment, labor, supply chains, and the removal of barriers to trade as some of the key topics for the discussions.