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Please join the Atlantic Council’s Asia Security Initiative, housed within the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, for a public panel discussion on US-Taiwan bilateral economic relations in an era of US-China strategic competition, featuring keynote remarks by H.E. Bi-khim Hsiao, Representative of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO). This virtual event will take place on Monday, November 30, 2020 from 2:00 to 3:00 pm (EST). Please register to receive instructions on how to view the session.

In recent months, the United States and Taiwan have taken significant steps indicating increasing potential for a US-Taiwan trade agreement in the future. Following President Tsai Ing-wen’s pledge to lift the ban on US beef and pork to improve trade relations with the United States, US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell announced that the United States and Taiwan would launch a new bilateral economic dialogue that “will explore the full spectrum of our economic relationship – semiconductors, healthcare, energy, and beyond – with technology at the core.” This major announcement is one of a number of significant recent developments indicating deepening US-Taiwan ties, including high-level visits by US Under Secretary of State Keith Krach and US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, the announcement of plans to sell three additional advanced weapons systems to Taiwan, as well as the issuing of a joint declaration 5G security. As the United States pursues a range of economic initiatives in the Indo-Pacific to better coordinate allies and partners to respond to the rise of China in a post-pandemic era, its deepening relationship with Taiwan has emerged as a key strategic area with profound geopolitical and geoeconomic implications.

Progress in US-Taiwan economic ties raises a number of key questions for the future of US strategy, cross-strait relations, and strategic competition with China. How do US and Taiwanese efforts to deepen bilateral economic relations fit into the broader expansion of US-Taiwan relations in recent years? What are the most important issues for the US and Taiwan to negotiate as they explore prospects for a possible trade agreement? What impacts do deeper US-Taiwan ties have on cross-strait relations, and how might China respond, economically or otherwise, to possible major developments such as the signing of a bilateral trade agreement? What could that mean for US and Taiwanese firms operating in China? More broadly, what impact would deeper US-Taiwan economic cooperation have on geopolitical and geoeconomic dynamics across the Indo-Pacific, particularly as the US pursues additional arms sales to Taiwan? What role can US-Taiwan cooperation play in regional efforts with US allies like Japan and Australia to diversify global supply chains and decrease dependence on China in the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic? What are the strategic implications of increasing US-Taiwan convergence on technologies involving vital national security interests, such as semiconductors and 5G?

Opening remarks

Mr. Frederick Kempe
President and CEO
Atlantic Council

Keynote speech

H.E. Bi-khim Hsiao
Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office

Panel discussion

Mr. Rupert Hammond-Chambers
President, US-Taiwan Business Council
Managing Director, Bower Group Asia

Dr. David Dollar
Senior Fellow – Foreign Policy, Global Economy and Development, John L. Thornton China Center
Brookings Institution

Mr. Riley Walters
Senior Policy Analyst and Economist
The Heritage Foundation

Dr. Miyeon Oh
Director and Senior Fellow, Asia Security Initiative, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security
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