After a delay of 15 years, there are signs that the push for a free-trade agreement (FTA) between Taiwan and the US is inevitable. Five major elements leading to the right circumstances for an FTA — the international situation, exchanges between Taipei and Washington, cross-strait relations, Taiwanese’s civil awareness and consumer rights protections — have fallen into place.
The government should take advantage of these trends and prepare to be flexible. Applying the principle of abiding by international economic and trade rules, Taiwan can show its determination to integrate regionally by opening its market to US pork and beef imports, and thereby relaunch its bid for a Taiwan-US FTA.
Why is a deal inevitable under the circumstances? From the confrontation between China and the US to the COVID-19 outbreak, the international situation has further highlighted the reliability and indispensability of “Made in Taiwan” (MIT) products. From precision wafers to masks, Taiwanese manufacturers have become the most valuable partners in international supply chains.