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Taiwan-US ties to progress under Trump: official

Under the framework of the Taiwan Relations Act, bilateral cooperation and exchanges on trade, cultural, educational and security affairs will continue, Stanley Kao (高碩泰) said at a gathering of the Taiwan Merchants Association of New York.

In the five months since Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office, Taipei and Washington have been interacting with each other under the principles of mutual trust, low-profile exchanges and no surprises, Kao said, adding that bilateral ties have remained stable and strong.

He said Taiwan still has a goal of taking part in the second round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations and will wait to see how things develop under the Trump administration and whether there are other options or possibilities.

Regardless of the fate of the TPP, Taiwan’s resolve to liberalize trade will not fade and it will make the necessary preparations to do so, Kao said.

He later told reporters that if the new U.S. government did not support regional or multilateral organizations, one alternative for Taiwan would be to seek stronger trade links with the U.S. and establish bilateral agreements with the other 11 founding members of the TPP.

As America’s ninth-largest trading partner, Taiwan will remind the new U.S. government of its contribution and importance, in the hope of signing a bilateral investment pact under the Taiwan-U.S. Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, Kao said.

During his campaign, Trump said he would dismantle the TPP if he was elected president. Since Trump’s election victory on Nov. 8, the administration of incumbent U.S. President Barack Obama has suspended its efforts to seek congressional approval of the TPP, leaving the decision on its fate to the new administration that will take office in January.