U.S. Agrees Working Groups With Taiwan As Trade Talks Resume

U.S. and Taiwan trade officials will set up working groups on investment and trade barriers as the two sides resumed talks yesterday following a five-year suspension resulting from the island’s ban on U.S. beef.

The two sides announced principles for greater cooperation on information and communication technology services, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis said after meeting with Taiwan trade officials in Taipei under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement. They included making laws and regulations more transparent and boosting global digital literacy.

Negotiators also agreed on principles regarding international investment, which will help build long-term investment relations, create jobs, and enhance economic growth, Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs said in a statement. The principles will help forge a Taiwan-U.S. investment agreement, the ministry said.

Trade talks between the U.S. and its 11th-biggest trade partner resumed after Taiwan lifted a ban on the sale and import of U.S. beef containing lean meat additives last July. Domestic farmers opposing Taiwan’s plans to ease the curbs dumped cow manure in front of the legislature last summer.

The U.S. is now also seeking to import its pork. Taiwan’s economy ministry has said the island’s restrictions against additive-containing U.S. pork would remain in place. The European Union, China and Taiwan ban domestic use of ractopamine, an additive used to increase lean meat in animals, according to Taiwan’s agriculture council.

Meetings will continue today. Other agenda items for the two-day talks include food safety, intellectual property protection and protection of trade secrets.

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