US inks modest trade deal with Taiwan in show of support in the face of pressure from China

May 18, 2023, 2:51 PM | Updated: 3:20 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States has reached a modest trade agreement with Taiwan, signaling Washington’s support for the island democracy as it comes under increasing pressure from China.

The first agreement under the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade is expected to set the stage for a bigger deal later — “a robust and high-standard trade agreement,’’ U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said.

The initiative announced Thursday will, among other things, cut red tape at customs and reduce waiting times for U.S. businesses bringing products to Taiwan. It also commits the U.S. and Taiwan to adopting measures to combat bribery and other forms of corruption and to encouraging more trade involving small- and medium-sized businesses.

The agreement does not require approval from the U.S. Congress. But there a renegade Chinese province and has long demanded that it reunify.

Relations between the United States and China – the world’s two biggest economies – have deteriorated in recent years. The United States accuses China of predatory economic practices and has criticized Beijing’s crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong and Muslim region of Xinjiang and its bullying of neighbors, including Taiwan, over territorial claims.

“Beijing is likely to complain about this announcement, but its words will fall on deaf ears in Washington as negotiations continue” with Taiwan, said Wendy Cutler, vice president at the Asia Society Policy Institute and a former U.S. trade negotiator.

Taiwan is the world’s leading producer of computer chips. The United States last year bought $105 billion worth of goods and services from Taiwan, making it the 10th-biggest source of U.S. imports. American exports to Taiwan came to nearly $55 billion, making it America’s 15th-biggest foreign market.

National News

Associated Press

Ten people are injured in a shooting in Columbus, Ohio. Police are searching for a suspect

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Police in Ohio say 10 people were injured, including one seriously, in a shooting in Columbus. The shooting occurred early Sunday in the Short North Arts District, local media said, quoting law enforcement. The Columbus Police Department said all the injured were males, eight adults and two youths who ranged in […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Philadelphia police officer shot by fleeing suspect is in critical condition

A Philadelphia police officer was shot in the neck and was in critical condition Saturday night, officials said. The 31-year-old officer was in critical condition and undergoing surgery at Temple University Hospital, Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel said during a news conference outside the hospital. The officer, a veteran of more than six years on the […]

11 hours ago

Associated Press

A fourth victim has died a day after a shooting at an Arkansas grocery store, police say

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Police say a fourth victim has died a day after a shooting at an Arkansas grocery store. The person died Saturday evening, Arkansas state police said in a statement. A total of 14 people were wounded in Friday’s shooting, according to police: “11 civilians, two law enforcement officers and the […]

12 hours ago

Associated Press

2 people were taken to a hospital after lightning struck a tree near a PGA Tour event in Connecticut

CROMWELL, Conn. (AP) — Two people were taken to the hospital Saturday after lightning struck a tree near a home along a golf course that is hosting the PGA Tour’s Travelers Championship. The home is just north of the fifth green at TPC River Highlands, which is hosting the tournament one week after the U.S. […]

14 hours ago

Associated Press

FBI offers reward for information about deadly southern New Mexico wildfires

RUIDOSO, N.M. (AP) — Federal authorities offered a reward for information about those responsible for igniting a pair of New Mexico wildfires that killed two people and destroyed hundreds of homes in the past week. The FBI on Saturday offered up to $10,000 for information in connection with the South Fork Fire and Salt Fire […]

19 hours ago

Associated Press

One dead, seven injured after shooting at Kentucky nightclub

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — One person is dead and seven others were injured after a shooting at a Kentucky nightclub early Saturday morning, authorities say. Louisville Metro Police Department officials said they responded to a call of several people shot at the H20 nightclub in Louisville just before 1 a.m. One man, 40-year-old Joseph D. […]

20 hours ago

US inks modest trade deal with Taiwan in show of support in the face of pressure from China