Eighth Round of TIFA Talks

Year & Location

April 4, 2014, Washington DC

Chief Negotiators

  • Taiwan: Shih-Chao Cho, Vice Economics Minister of the Ministry of Economic Affairs
  • U.S.: Wendy Cutler, Acting Deputy United States Trade Representative

Overview of Meeting

The 8th TIFA meeting was held on April 4th, 2014 in Washington D.C. The meeting was co-chaired by Deputy Minister Shih-chao Cho of the MOEA and Acting Deputy USTR Wendy Cutler. More than 45 officials from the U.S. side participated, as well as 20 delegates from the Taiwan side.

Both Taiwan and the United States agreed that the 8th TIFA meeting was very constructive. Significant progress was made on several key issues, contributing to further bilateral cooperation. Both sides will continue to discuss trade and investment issues of mutual concern within the framework of the TIFA meetings to explore possible cooperation, including the following:
  • Investment: Both sides highly recognize the work that has been done under the investment working group, including enhancing the U.S. understanding of Taiwan’s investment regime, and increasing the transparency of the criteria in reviewing investment applications concerning private equity funds. In addition, both sides will continue to engage in constructive dialogue on a future bilateral investment agreement.

  • Regional and multilateral cooperation: Both sides agreed to strengthen their cooperation on this front, including the “Bali package” approved by the WTO members in 2013, and the negotiations on ITA expansion, environmental goods and Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA).

  • IPR: In order to promote high-tech industries and the sustainable development of enterprises in Taiwan, Taiwan revised its Trade Secret Act and relevant regulations to ensure better protection of IPR. Both sides also exchanged views on how to prevent internet piracy and better enforce IPR protection laws, since they are by nature trans-national and thus require closer cooperation and experience sharing among relevant agencies in different countries.

    There were also two conferences held on trade secrets in March 2014, with the participation of several experts from the U.S. In addition, with Taiwan as the fourth-largest source of patent applications in the United States with more than 20,000 applications each year, the United States has agreed to further discuss establishing the Priority Document eXchange (PDX) program to facilitate the application process.

  • Pharmaceuticals and medical devices: In order to promote emerging biotech industries as well as to protect related IPR, Taiwan has made data protection and patent a main policy, with the aim of following international norms. Taipei's first step will be to set up a patent data bank. The U.S. has agreed to provide information on other countries’ practices and expertise training.

  • TBT: Both sides have met several times under the TIFA TBT working group since 2013, with topics including how to promote coherence with international standards for Taiwan’s chemical registration system and laws concerning the management of cosmetics. These efforts are aimed at decreasing the impact on trade while protecting consumers and labor.

  • Agriculture: Both sides talked about the market access of Oncidium plants with growth media from Taiwan to the U.S. as well as Taiwan’s interests in applying for organic equivalence recognition in the United States.

Documents

About the Taiwan-U.S. Trade and Investment Framework Agreement

  • Conceived in December 1992 during USTR Carla Hill's visit to Taipei.
  • The most recent TIFA was held in October 2016 in Washington DC.
  • TIFA is the primary platform for bilateral trade dispute resolution, trade promotion, and investment cooperation between Taiwan and the U.S.