She added: “This decision is based on our national economic interests and is consistent with our overall strategic objectives for the future.” Whether in banking, trade negotiations or e-commerce, my professional life helps companies open up new markets, with a particular focus on China. As CEO of Export There are no ongoing or planned discussions yet. On the one hand, the United States is ambivalent about trade liberalization, with USTR chief Lighthizer explicitly criticizing free trade agreements. Taiwan, for its part, also has national constituencies sensitive to additional competition. First, it must be a comprehensive agreement that must include manufacturing, services and agriculture. You cannot repair or improve a free trade agreement after it has been signed, so it is worth spending the time necessary to make it a world class. The most sensitive sector is expected to be agriculture, as Taiwan has a large number of smallholder farmers. The island government will have to find mechanisms to help those who are struggling to compete. Instruments such as a national bank and a reverse mortgage could go around, so a farmer could sell his land to the government in exchange for a perpetuity ability to retain the property as a residence with 20 years of guaranteed income.

All stakeholders agreed that there would be benefits for both sides if the United States and Taiwan concluded a free trade agreement (FTA), but they also noted that China`s current opposition to such negotiations remains a major obstacle. We need to find a creative way to show China that China could also benefit from such a free trade agreement. Scott L. Kastner of the University of Maryland argued interestingly that it was in China`s long-term interest to allow Taiwan to conclude a free trade agreement with the United States. He called Beijing`s current opposition “counterproductive.” In fact, Kastner`s argument is that a free trade agreement between the United States and Taiwan would give a sense of security and autonomy. As Taiwan sees itself as more self-reliant, it would feel more comfortable entering negotiations with China. As Taiwan feels less autonomy and China interferes in Taiwan`s affairs, this only irritates Taiwan and makes it more reluctant to engage in discussions with the mainland about its future. The momentum for change right now is related to the strategic changes taking place in the midst of the COVID 19 pandemic and increased competition between the United States and China.

Tsai noted that “Taiwan`s economy is now at a historic turning point” amid “structural changes in the global economy, and … Reorienting global supply chains. The Tsai government sees this as an opportunity to position Taiwan as a “critical force to reorient global supply chains” – and forging a long-dreamed BTA with the United States would be an important step toward that goal. Thank you to the United States Senate for supporting the conversation.