Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan and the U.S. should prioritize discussions and negotiations on a new bilateral trade agreement.
In response to the U.S. government’s America First Foreign Policy, Tsai said Taiwan is sending its largest ever delegation to SelectUSA Investment Summit in June, and is organizing an agricultural group in September to cement the country’s status as one of the biggest importers of U.S. agricultural products.
“Taiwan and the U.S. enjoy a deep friendship that has endured the test of time,” she said. “This is not only because we share many of the same values, but we have also forged through decades of cooperation a high-level mutual trust as partners.”
Taiwan and the U.S. share joint responsibilities and common interests in terms of development and security in the Asia-Pacific which played a key role in stabilizing the Taiwan Strait and enabling peace and prosperity to take hold throughout the region, she said.
This also created the conditions for Taiwan to become an economic powerhouse and a beacon of freedom and democracy, the president said, adding that the country is indebted for this backing and shoulders the responsibility of playing a more constructive role in the Asia-Pacific.
The president said robust economic exchanges are a cornerstone of the Taiwan-U.S. relationship, citing bilateral trade of $85 billion last year, with the U.S. the leading destination for local exports and the country’s second largest trading partner.
But it is not all one-way traffic. Taiwan trade and investment has created more than 350,000 job opportunities in the U.S. and positioned the country as the 15th biggest external job creator globally for the U.S. and the sixth largest in Asia.
According to the president, Taiwan is ready to assume a greater role in maintaining international peace and security through greater investment in national defense, especially in the areas of aerospace, cybersecurity and indigenous submarine development.
In response, American Institute in Taiwan Director Kin Moy said the U.S. is firmly committed to Taiwan, with cooperation on regional and global priorities remaining a pillar of the bilateral relationship.
Moy said Taiwan and the U.S. have already made joint efforts to address some of the concerns identified by the U.S. government’s Trade Policy Agenda, especially intellectual property rights—an issue on which they recently signed a memorandum of understanding on combating related infringements and trade fraud crimes.
All joint efforts will help the two sides promote their shared values regionally and internationally, he added.