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50 US senators back trade agreement with Taiwan

02 October 2020

50 US senators from both parties have called on the Trump administration to begin negotiating a bilateral trade agreement with Taiwan.

Reuters reports that the potential trade agreement is part of a strategy to counteract Chinese influence.

The group of 42 Republicans and eight Democrats sent a letter to Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer citing Taiwan's record as a US economic partner and security ally and encouraging him to begin the formal process of negotiating a comprehensive trade agreement.

Taiwan has long sought a free trade agreement with the United States, its most important supporter on the international stage, but Washington has complained about barriers to access for US pork and beef.

In August, Taiwan paved the way for an eventual deal by announcing an easing of restrictions on the import of US beef and pork that is expected to go into effect on 1 January.

Taiwan-US trade last year was worth $85.5 billion, with the United States running a $23.1 billion deficit. Taiwan was the United States' 14th biggest export market in 2019.

The United States, like most countries, has no official relations with Taiwan, which is claimed by Beijing as sovereign Chinese territory. China has been stepping up its military activities near the island.

Read more about this story here.

Source: Reuters



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