On Saturday Taiwan’s foreign minister expressed confidence that the incoming government of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden would support a long requested two-sided trade agreement, following high level economic talks with the outgoing administration.
Frank Januzzi, a main Biden adviser when the president-elect was in Congress, wrote that Washington should focus on free trade negotiations with Taiwan to encourage others, including Britain, the European Union and Japan, to follow suit.
In August, Taiwan eased restrictions on imports of U.S. pork and beef, which had been a stumbling block to free trade talks.
Foreign Minister Joseph Wu noted the cross-aisle support for Taiwan’s meat decision, as well as October’s call by 50 U.S. senators from both parties for President Donald Trump’s administration to begin negotiating a trade deal with the island.
Wu said, “I think bipartisan support on Capitol Hill is still very strong, and I think that kind of support for a Taiwan-U.S. BTA will continue into the new administration.”
The conversation that was made on Friday was not related to a possible trade deal, instead it focused on areas including science and technology, supply chain restructuring and 5G networks.
In an attempt to tech-heavyweight Taiwan’s importance as a global chip maker for the cares of Apple Inc, Taiwan’s government said both sides “confirmed that strategic cooperation on the semiconductor industry is a mutual priority”.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co which is the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, reported plans this year for a $12 billion semiconductor factory in Arizona, a move U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said would increase U.S. economic independence from China.
The U.S. State Department said in a statement , “our shared commitment to free markets, entrepreneurship, and freedom”.
This dialogue was a part of increased U.S. engagement with Taipei by the Trump administration which has irritated Beijing. China claims the democratic island as its sovereign territory.