The United States and Taiwan will begin formal negotiations for a trade and investment agreement this fall, the office of the U.S. Trade Representative said Wednesday, a new step in strengthening their relationship, against a backdrop of strong tensions with China.
These discussions are part of an initiative announced in June, which has already given rise to a first meeting the same month.
In addition to expanding trade and investment, the talks will also focus on addressing "
market-unfriendly policies and methods
," the office of U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said, which could be construed as a reference. to China.
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The formal launch of these new talks is further evidence of the United States' desire to get closer to Taiwan, which is already an important trading partner.
Already an informal agreement between Taipei and Washington
In early August, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, visited the island, followed by a group of US parliamentarians on Monday.
Chinese authorities viewed the Democratic leader's visit to the Lower House as a provocation and responded with trade sanctions imposed on Taiwan as well as military maneuvers near the island.
Beijing claims Taiwan as part of its territory and opposes the self-governing democracy being considered an independent nation.
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Taipei and Washington have already been linked, since 1994, by a "
" relating to trade and investment, which is not a formal agreement.
A trade deal will “
strengthen trade and investment
,” and “
promote innovation and inclusive economic growth for our workers and businesses
,” said Sarah Bianchi, Assistant to the U.S. Trade Representative.