Taipei, Aug. 13 (CNA) It "won't be long" before Taiwan and the United States kick off negotiations under the Taiwan-U.S. 21st Century Trade Initiative, Minister Without Portfolio John Deng (鄧振中) said Saturday.
With preparation work on both sides proceeding as planned, they are expected to soon formally announce the start of the negotiations before setting a date, Deng, who serves as Taiwan's chief trade negotiator, told CNA.
Kurt Campbell, deputy assistant to U.S. President Joe Biden and White House Coordinator for the Indo-Pacific, on Friday also said during a conference call that Washington officials were developing an "ambitious roadmap for trade negotiations" with Taiwan, which they intend to announce "in the coming days."
The first round of negotiations is likely to focus on topics on which the two sides already share similar views, those pertaining to bilateral ties, or those that have been discussed in detail at the World Trade Organization and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, Deng said.
Hopefully, the two sides will be able to wrap up negotiations before the start of the APEC summit to be hosted by the U.S. late next year, he said.
The Initiative, launched on June 1, seeks to create a pathway for both sides to negotiate and sign a trade agreement, with topics ranging from how best to facilitate trade and digital trade to anti-corruption efforts, small and medium-sized enterprises, environmental protection and non-market economies.