Agriculture is among the topics the two sides will discuss
By Diego Flammini
The United States is engaging in trade discussions with a country left out of the US-Indo Pacific trade deal.
The U.S. and Taiwan announced the launch of the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade on June 1.
This after Taiwan wasn’t included in the regional trade deal which includes countries like Australia, India, Japan and New Zealand.
Agriculture will be part of these bilateral trade talks.
“The United States and Taiwan intend to explore provisions to facilitate agricultural trade through science and risk-based decision making and through the adoption of sound, transparent regulatory practices,” the June 1 announcement says.
Taiwan is already in the top 10 for U.S. ag exports.
The country ranked sixth among U.S. ag export markets in 2021, the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service says.
Taiwan imported $3.94 billion of U.S. ag goods last year.
The top item exported to Taiwan was soybeans.
The U.S. exported 1.4 million metric tons of soybeans to Taiwan in 2021, worth $735.67 million.
Rounding out the top three is beef with 63.09 million metric tons exported worth $668.04 million. And corn, with 1.58 million metric tons exported worth $434.55 million.
Taiwan charges an average tariff of 15.06 percent on agricultural goods.
But the country’s government has lowered tariffs recently to help its people.
In February it removed the 5 per cent business tax on imported corn, soybeans and wheat, halved tariffs on butter, powdered milk and milk fat. It also extended its tariff reductions on beef and wheat.
Those extensions on beef and wheat expired at the end of April.
This relationship between the U.S. and Taiwan has caused China to get involved.
Chinese officials want these trade talks to stop.
These discussions “disrupt peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” said Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry, the Associated Press reported.