U.S. Statement delivered by Chris Wilson
Deputy U.S. Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization
Geneva, September 12th, 2018
Thank you, Chair. The United States is pleased to welcome the distinguished Head of Delegation Ms. Wang with those visiting from Taipei, and to acknowledge Dr. Cyrus Chu and the team here in Geneva during this Trade Policy Review (TPR) of Chinese Taipei. We acknowledge the thanks and mention of many questions from the U.S., and note that the shoe will be on the other foot in just three months when the U.S. will be under review.
As the Secretariat notes in its report, Chinese Taipei’s openness to international trade and integration with the global economy has resulted in a high ratio of trade in goods and services to GDP. Chinese Taipei continues to play an active role in the WTO and has adopted strategies designed to bring Chinese Taipei’s trade policies in line with its goals.
The United States and Chinese Taipei continue to have strong and diverse trade and investment ties. Chinese Taipei is currently the United States’ 11th largest goods trading partner with $68.2 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2017. Trade in services with Chinese Taipei (exports and imports) totaled an estimated $17.9 billion in 2017. Top U.S. exports to Chinese Taipei in 2017 include machinery, electrical machinery, and aircraft. Chinese Taipei remains our 7thlargest agricultural export market with $3.3 billion in exports of agricultural products in 2017.
Chinese Taipei has been an active and positive partner in multilateral and plurilateral trade liberalization initiatives. Since 2010, Chinese Taipei has positively participated in the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement and has implemented its commitments under the revised GPA. Additionally, in 2015, Chinese Taipei ratified the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and the Information Technology Agreement.
The United States commends Chinese Taipei on efforts it has made over the past four years to liberalize its trade and investment regime and further integrate with the global economy. For instance, in December 2017, Chinese Taipei passed amendments to the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act that establish an effective mechanism for early resolution of potential patent disputes. We now look forward to swift implementation. Furthermore, beginning in 2016, Chinese Taipei implemented a requirement that all draft regulations or revisions of existing regulations must provide a 60-day notice and comment period. This is very welcome.
The United States would also like to highlight areas that we believe need greater attention. We remain concerned about Chinese Taipei’s failure to remove unwarranted restrictions on pork and beef market access. The United States is also concerned by the growing backlog of applications for the establishment of maximum residue levels to ensure food safety. We urge Chinese Taipei to use science-based international standards and practices and to resume timely issuance of approvals.
In other areas, the United States encourages Chinese Taipei to more thoroughly examine international standards and to avoid creating technical and sanitary or phytosanitary barriers to trade that discourage imports and investment. The United States also observes a need for sustained progress by Chinese Taipei in improving the transparency and predictability of the investment review process. And pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers continue to face challenges, including delays in introducing new products to the market, and non-transparent pricing and reimbursement policies.
On these and other issues, the United States will continue to engage with Chinese Taipei across the forums and initiatives that we have established in order to further break down trade barriers and strengthen our economic ties.
In closing, we look forward to reviewing and discussing Chinese Taipei’s responses to our advanced written questions – thank you for all the efforts to respond – and look forward to a positive and constructive trade policy review.