US Trade Representatives May Exceed Indo-Pacific Efforts: USTR Official


Washington-The new US trade negotiations with Taiwan could go faster than the broader negotiations with the 12 Indo-Pacific countries that have a keen interest in Taipei and Washington in deepening economic relations, the US Trade Representative said. (USTR) Deputy Representative Sarabianki said Thursday.

Bianchi told Reuters in an interview that there are similarities between the newly launched Indo-Pacific Economic Framework talks and the Taiwan talks, but the latter initiative connects Taiwan on specific economic issues. The purpose is to increase.

“I think we are eager to negotiate with Taiwan and expand our negotiation mission in Taiwan. There are issues ranging from SMEs to digital trade to labor. Go ahead as soon as possible. I’m looking forward to it, “said Bianchi. ..

Asked if the Taiwanese initiative could bear fruit faster than the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) talks, she said, “it could.”

The autonomous island has been excluded from the IPEF initiatives of 14 countries launched by President Joe Biden last week. However, USTR announced separate bilateral trade negotiations with Taiwan on Wednesday.

IPEFs aimed at returning the pillars of the economy to US involvement in the region include Japan, India, South Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam, Australia, and other countries in the region, but not China. Hmm.

Bianchi said the IPEF will be launched soon, organizing discussion topics, including ministerial-level meetings, and proposing a text for an agreement by the end of the summer. rice field.

Pillar selection

Through IPEF consultations, Member States will be able to choose from among the key “pillars” to participate in, including digital trade rules, supply chain resilience and trade facilitation, infrastructure development, strong worker rights and environmental standards. I can do it.

But it is not necessary to attend all the pillars, and the first meeting will focus on defining what the country chooses, Bianchi said. A country that chose only one or two could have meaningful relationships with the United States and other IPEF members, she said.

Neither IPEF nor Taiwan negotiations will include tariff reductions and enhanced market access provided by traditional free trade agreements.

Bianchi said IPEF “to actually address 21st century problems,” including barriers to digital trade, including data localization requirements and cumbersome regulations that make it difficult for companies to operate in some countries21. It means “agreement of the century”. Resolving these issues will also enhance market access, she said.

David Loader

Reuters

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