President Donald Trump made headlines shortly after his electoral
victory by accepting a congratulatory phone call from Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen. It signaled what some saw as a renewal of American commitment to Taiwan in the face of Chinese criticism. But over a year later, Taiwan is still waiting for a specific policy towards the island nation from the Trump Administration. President
Trump has often been unrestrained with his criticisms of trade arrangements between the U.S. and mainland China. Yet dialogue
over Taiwan’s place in the new Administration has been few and
far-between, peculiar for a nation ranked as the tenth largest goods trading partner of the United States.
Recently, two panels of experts met at the Sigur Center for Asian Studies to address the issues and opportunities regarding the U.S. – Taiwan economic relationship. The first panel analyzed the political environments in the U.S. and Taiwan that affect economic ties. They discussed the challenges facing both countries internal political and economic environments, and certain motivations and drivers that affect the bilateral partnership. The subsequent panel discussed economic challenges and opportunities facing the relationship.
These included the need for greater dialogue at a time of increased uncertainty, and ways in which American domestic industry could benefit from the expertise of Taiwanese multinationals.