Taiwan, U.S. economic talks lead to 5-year agreement

A five-year memorandum of understanding was signed at the "U.S.-Taiwan Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue" on Friday. Photo courtesy of Taiwan President Tsai Ing-Wen/Twitter

Nov. 22 (UPI) — Economic cooperation talks between the United States and Taiwan have led to a five-year agreement.

The countries signed a five-year memorandum of understanding, including efforts to boost ties in healthcare, semiconductors, 5G infrastructure and energy sectors along with supply-chain security.

Both parties also agreed to establish working groups on global health security, science and technology, women’s economic empowerment and infrastructure, among other issues.

The talks dubbed as the “Inaugural U.S.-Taiwan Prosperity Partnership Dialogue,” were held virtually and partly in person in Washington, D.C.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-Wen said the dialogue “was a great success,” in a Twitter post. “Thank you for everyone involved for bringing #Taiwan & the #US even closer together & strengthening our economies during trying times. We will continue to work together to build a more prosperous world.”

Taiwan’s Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Chen Chern-Chyi “C.C.” Chen led a delegation to D.C. talks.

Others in the delegation took part by video conference from Taipei, including Minister without Portfolio John Deng, in charge of financial and economic affairs, and Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-Hua.

Under Secretary of Economic Growth, Energy and Environment Keith Krach led the U.S. delegation.

Chen said Krach praised Taiwan’s technology achievements and wanted both sides to work together.

The dialogue did not advance Taiwan’s hopes for a bilateral trade agreement, according to officials.

The economic dialogue is part of the Trump administration’s growing relationship with Taiwan, which has also included Krach visiting Taipei in September, and led to billions of dollars in potential arms sales, which have led China to say it would sanction U.S. defense contractors.

Lowry Institute research fellow Natasha Kassam said it wasn’t surprising trade talks were not discussed, but “even the symbolism of these high-level economic talks and resulting MOU is valuable.”

Deng said that a focus will be strategic cooperation in the semiconductor industry, which could benefit both economies.

Wang added that investment of the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, in the United States, has built a basis for bilateral cooperation.

For global health, Taiwan agreed to share its protective equipment expertise, and the United States said it would contribute its strength in medical research, vaccine research and development.

On women’s economic empowerment, both sides agreed to combine efforts with the United States already involved in initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean and Taiwan involved in programs in the Indo-Pacific region.

Both parties also agreed to establish a task force on economic cooperation.

They also discussed cooperating on infrastructure development in the Indo-Pacific region.


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