U.S. Opening Statement at the Trade Policy Review of Chinese Taipei
November 7, 2023
The United States is pleased to welcome the distinguished Head of Delegation Deputy Minister Chen, along with others visiting from Taipei, and to acknowledge Dr. Lo and the team here in Geneva during this Trade Policy Review of the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu.
As the Secretariat notes in its report, Chinese Taipei has shown continued support for a rules-based multilateral trading system. As a critical player in global supply chains, Chinese Taipei has regularly demonstrated its commitment to maintaining a transparent and predictable trade and investment environment. The United States remains strongly supportive of Chinese Taipei’s ability to exercise its rights as a WTO Member and fully participate in WTO activities.
The United States and Chinese Taipei continue to have strong and diverse trade and investment ties. Chinese Taipei is currently the United States’ 9th largest goods trading partner with US$136.0 billion in total, two-way, goods trade during 2022. Two-way trade in services with Chinese Taipei totaled an estimated US$24.0 billion in 2022. Top U.S. exports to Chinese Taipei in 2022 included machinery, electrical machinery, mineral fuels, optical and medical instruments, and aircraft. Chinese Taipei is our 6th largest agricultural export market with US$4.3 billion in exports of agricultural products in 2022.
In June 2022, the United States and Chinese Taipei announced an ambitious new trade initiative focused on the negotiation of agreements covering 11 trade areas. On June 1st of this year, the two sides signed a first agreement under this initiative, marking a significant milestone in our economic and trade relationship. In that agreement, the two sides set high benchmarks in the areas of customs administration and trade facilitation, good regulatory practices, services domestic regulations, anticorruption and small- and medium-sized enterprises. Currently, the two sides are working toward the conclusion of a second agreement, covering additional trade areas.
The United States welcomes the constructive engagement by Chinese Taipei over the course of the fisheries subsidies negotiations. I am glad to hear that Chinese Taipei hopes to submit its acceptance of the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies by MC13. We also encourage Chinese Taipei to reaffirm its commitment to not avail itself of Special and Differential Treatment flexibilities in any future additional fisheries subsidies agreement. We look forward to continuing to work with Chinese Taipei towards achieving meaningful disciplines on harmful fisheries subsidies that contribute to overcapacity and overfishing.
Furthermore, we would like to continue to work closely with Chinese Taipei as we seek fundamental reform of the dispute settlement system. Chinese Taipei has played a leading role in advancing the discussion on reforms that will have a meaningful impact on the system. It has effectively pursued changes that would benefit all Members – large- and small- economy Members alike. The United States welcomes Chinese Taipei’s thoughtful and constructive leadership on certain core issues and we encourage Chinese Taipei to continue its positive engagement with the United States and all Members. This is the type of engagement that we need from Members in order to achieve the reform that we are all committed to.
The United States would also like to highlight certain areas that we believe need greater attention. We remain particularly concerned about Chinese Taipei’s failure to remove all unjustified restrictions on market access for U.S. pork and beef. We urge Chinese Taipei to use science-based international standards and practices when regulating trade in food and agricultural products.
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 strengthen our economic and trade ties and further break down trade barriers.
We look forward to a positive and constructive Trade Policy Review.