US and Taiwan to hold second round of economic dialogue next week, Auto News, ET Auto

Next week, the State Department said the United States and Taiwan will hold a second session of the Economic Dialogue that began last year in the face of mounting pressure on the island from China.

The announcement comes days after a virtual meeting between US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping. After the meeting, Xi warned that Taiwan independence supporters in the United States were “playing with fire.”

A State Department statement said US Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and Environment Jose Fernandez will lead the second US-Taiwan Dialogue on Economic Prosperity on Monday.

He said the dialogue will be held under the auspices of the American Institute of Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECRO) in the US, which act as unofficial embassies for each other.

“Our partnership is based on strong two-way trade and investment, personal relations, and the common defense of freedom and shared democratic values,” the statement said. Taiwan’s foreign ministry said the virtual meeting will be co-chaired by Economy Minister Wang Mei-hwa and Science and Technology Minister Wu Kongzong.

Taiwan hopes the dialogue will eventually lead to a free trade agreement with the United States and hailed last year’s inaugural meeting as a step forward. Part of the US’s growing commitment to Taipei under former President Donald Trump has been the continuation of the Biden administration, which has angered Beijing, which claims Taiwan as its own.

The two sides already held long-awaited talks on a trade and investment framework agreement in July, and Taiwan said it hoped it would one day be possible to sign the FTA.

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Last year, the Taiwan government lifted a ban on imports of pork containing the light-fat additive ractopamine, removing an obstacle to reaching an agreement with Washington, but a referendum on the issue is scheduled for December.

Taiwan is a major semiconductor manufacturer, its shortcomings have disrupted supply chains globally and especially affected automakers, as far as Washington is concerned, which has pressured Taiwan to speed up chip production.

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