Former NEC Deputy Director: U.S. Should Pursue a Trade Agreement with Taiwan

Taiwan city

On February 7, 2023, former Deputy Director of the U.S. National Economic Council (NEC) Clete Willems called for a trade agreement with Taiwan during a hearing before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services.

While addressing the House Committee, Willems argued,

“The Financial Services Committee should work closely with Ways & Means to pressure the Biden Administration to adopt a real trade strategy. Restarting negotiations with the United Kingdom, which also has a strong financial services sector, and Kenya should be no-brainers. Beyond that, we need to be bold if we want to provide a meaningful supply chain alternative to China. In particular, Congress should push the Administration to pursue an agreement with Taiwan and renegotiate the CPTPP.

Taiwan is a particularly attractive trading partner for economic and geopolitical reasons. Our farmers are seeking additional market access, and there are significant benefits to more closely linking supply chains with Taiwan in high-tech goods like semiconductors. Further, nearly 50 percent of Taiwan’s trade is with China, which provides the CCP with an undue ability to exert economic coercion on the island. A U.S. trade agreement with Taiwan would reduce this vulnerability and signal to other countries that they should expand trade with Taiwan as well.”

Source: Full Testimony: Hearing before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services: “Combatting the Economic Threat from China”

The US-Taiwan BTA Coalition welcomes this support for a trade agreement with Taiwan.

Watch – U.S. House Committee on Financial Services Hearing: Combatting the Economic Threat from China
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