President calls for Taiwan-U.S. trade agreement

Taipei-Taiwan and the U.S. should ink a bilateral trade agreement (BTA) as soon as possible to boost economic competitiveness, President Tsai Ing-wen (???) said Tuesday.

"A high-quality BTA between our countries would not only help strengthen our engagement, it would also set a strong precedent for a rules-based trade order in the Indo-Pacific region," Tsai said at the annual general meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce Taipei.

Tsai said a BTA would benefit both sides, as Taiwan and the U.S. share strong ties in many areas, including the information and communications technology, semiconductor, automotive, and aerospace industries.

Tsai said she hopes that in the future, the two countries can extend strategic cooperation to cutting-edge manufacturing, particularly in the digital economy, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, and Industry 4.0.

According to Tsai, a BTA would gain support from the governments of both sides for mutual trade ties, allowing companies to invest with confidence.

Taiwan has become more competitive than ever, Tsai went on, adding that the country has developed a new economic development model over the past three years.

This model has reduced Taiwan's overdependency on production bases in China and has strengthened its partnerships with the U.S. and other major economies, Tsai said.

"This transformation has made Taiwan's economy both resilient and responsive," Tsai said, stressing that the transformation has given the country the ability to overcome the many challenges in the global economy.

For the first three quarters of this year, Taiwan's economic growth has topped those of South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore, said Tsai.

From January to October this year, Taiwan's exports to the U.S. increased by 17.7 percent, while its exports to China decreased by 6.65 percent, which reflects the swift changes and adjustments in the supply chain of U.S.-China-Taiwan trade, she said.

These changes are pushing Taiwan into a new era of economic development, the president said, vowing to work toward a new and improved version of the Taiwanese economic development model.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel