TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The White House on Sunday (May 22) announced that Taiwan is not on the list of countries that will be invited to join the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), despite letters by over 50 senators and 200 congressmen calling on the Biden administration to include Taiwan.
While aboard Air Force One en route to Tokyo, Japan, from South Korea that day, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan fielded questions from reporters on a wide range of topics. When asked whether Taiwan would be included in the IPEF given the country's importance to the global supply chain, Sullivan initially dodged the question by saying that the list of countries invited would be unveiled on Monday (May 23).
When further pressed on whether Taiwan was invited, Sullivan said, "Taiwan won't be part of the launch." Responding to a request to clarify his statement, Sullivan said, "It will not be part of the launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework."
He then emphasized that U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai had met with her Taiwanese counterpart, Minister without Portfolio John Deng (鄧振中), a few days ago. Sullivan stressed that the U.S. is seeking to "deepen our economic partnership with Taiwan" on issues related to high technology such, as semiconductors and supply chains.
The advisor stated that discussions on these issues are being conducted on a bilateral basis "in the first instance" while coordinating with a "range of other countries through the framework."
The White House's exclusion of Taiwan comes despite a letter sent to the Biden administration on March 30 by 200 members of the U.S. House of Representatives calling for Taiwan's inclusion in the IPEF. This was followed by a similar letter signed by 52 senators on May 18.