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2021-04-08 17:08
Bureau of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Economic Affairs

The U.S. Trade Representative's Office Announces the "2021 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers"

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The U.S. Trade Representative's Office Announces the "2021 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers"
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) published the "2021 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (NTE)" on March 31, 2021, listing the trade and investment barriers of 65 major U.S. export markets.

As for Taiwan, the NTE mainly stated the U.S.'s trade and investment concerns, as well as related developments with Taiwan. Specifically, the NTE mentions Taiwan's positive development in the protection of intellectual property rights, including implementation of amendments to the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act, the Copyright Act, the Trade Secrets Act. The NTE also mentions that Taiwan and the U.S. signed the Organic Equivalency Agreement, which allows certified organic products from both sides to be sold, labeled, and presented as organic reciprocally. This agreement eliminates the cost and paperwork of import certificates.

In addition, the United States continues to be concerned about issues involving the Enforcement Rules of Cosmetic Hygiene and Safety Act, food safety inspections and animal and plant quarantine measures, online copyright infringements, the exclusion of new drugs from the patent linkage system, the drug pricing mechanism under the national health insurance system, authorization for marketing medical devices and the price review mechanism, regulations for financial institutions using cloud computing services, etc. The NTE also expresses concern that pork products in Taiwan must indicate the country of origin, which may lead to Taiwanese businesses reluctantly purchasing U.S. pork or purchasing Taiwanese pork instead. Compared to last year's NTE, the comments in this year have been more positive.

According to Taiwan's customs statistics, bilateral trade between Taiwan and the United States in 2020 totaled US$83.03 billion, for an increase of 2.38% compared to 2019. Of this, Taiwan's exports to the U.S. amounted to US$50.551 billion, up 9.30%. The main reasons were due to the U.S.-China trade friction and the COVID-19 pandemic that caused the reshoring of Taiwanese businesses to invest, and in turn increased direct exports to the U.S. In 2020, the United States was Taiwan's second largest trading partner and our main source of technology. Hence, Taiwan and the U.S. have close economic and trade ties. We will continue to enhance bilateral economic and trade relations through cooperation and investment.

The full text of the above mentioned report can be downloaded from the USTR website: https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/files/reports/2021/2021NTE.pdf