13 Mar 2024
Seminars, Conferences / Workshops, 13:00 - 14:30, Webinar Online Event
Elsig, Manfred , Van den Bossche, Peter L.H.

Webinar: "Strengthening Strong Economic and Political Ties: The 2023 US-Taiwan Trade Agreement and Beyond"

Are the 2023 US-Taiwan Trade Agreement and the ongoing trade negotiations of economic significance or primarily of political importance?


The relations between the United States and Taiwan have always been of great economic and political importance to both countries. Against the background of the geopolitical confrontation between the United States and China, these relations have in recent years become even more important. The importance given to these relations is well reflected in the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade, which was launched in June 2022, and which is aimed at further expanding bilateral trade. Already one year later, in June 2023, a first agreement under this Initiative was signed by representatives of the American Institute in Taiwan and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States. This 2023 US-Taiwan Trade Agreement deals with matters as diverse as customs administration and trade facilitation, good regulatory practices, services domestic regulation, anticorruption, and small- and medium-sized enterprises. Shortly after the conclusion of this agreement, in August 2023, a second round of negotiations under the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade was started. On the agenda of these negotiations are the challenging issues of trade and agriculture, labour and the environment.

The webinar, hosted by the World Trade Institute (WTI) of the University of Bern on 13 March 2024, will focus on the economic and political significance of the 2023 US-Taiwan Trade Agreement as well as the significance of the ongoing negotiations under the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade. Participating in this webinar will be Minister John Chen-chung Deng, Taiwan’s Chief Trade Negotiator, Chang-fa Lo, Permanent Representative of Chinese Taipei to the WTO, Kathleen Claussen, Professor of Law, Georgetown Law, and Jeffrey Schott, Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics. The webinar will be moderated by Peter Van den Bossche, the WTI Director of Studies.


Click here to register and attend online.


Speakers' Profiles

John Chen-Chung Deng

Mr. Deng is Minister without Portfolio and has concurrently served as Taiwan’s Chief Trade Representative since 2016. As Chief Trade Representative, he oversees all aspects of Taiwan’s trade policy as well as its negotiations with trading partners around the world, including, most recently, in connection with the Initiative on 21st-Century Trade with the United States, the Enhanced Trade Partnership Arrangement with the UK, and the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Arrangement (FIPA) with Canada. Mr. Deng is also responsible for spearheading Taiwan’s application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and has been representing Taiwan in its capacity as the “Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu” at the Ministerial Conferences of the World Trade Organization (WTO) since 2015.

Prior to his current appointment, Mr. Deng held various high-level positions within the government, including as Minister of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), Deputy Secretary-General of the National Security Council, Deputy Minister of the Mainland Affairs Council, and various other positions at MOEA as well as Taiwan’s overseas missions in Geneva and Washington D.C.

Mr. Deng earned his bachelor’s degree in law from Soochow University in Taipei, and his LLM from George Washington University in the United States.

Chang-fa Lo

Dr. Lo is Permanent Representative of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu to the World Trade Organization. He was Justice of the Constitutional Court of the ROC (Taiwan) between October 2011 and September 2019. Prior to his judicial position, he was Chair Professor and Lifetime Distinguished Professor at National Taiwan University (NTU); Dean of NTU College of Law; Director of Asian Center for WTO and International Health Law and Policy of NTU College of Law (ACWH), where he now serves as Senior Research Fellow; Director of Center for Ethics, Law and Society in Biomedicine and Technology of NTU; Commissioner of Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission (in charge of the competition law in Taiwan); Commissioner of Taiwan’s International Trade Commission; and legal advisor for Taiwan’s GATT/WTO accession negotiations. In his capacity as the Director of ACWH, he launched two English journals “Asian Journal of WTO and International Health Law and Policy” (AJWH; “Social Science Citation Index” (SSCI) listed) and “Contemporary Asia Arbitration Journal” (CAAJ; “Emerging Sources Citation Index” (ESCI) listed) in 2006 and 2008 respectively. In his capacity as Dean of NTU College of Law, he also launched an English journal “NTU Law Review” (TSCI-listed). Prior to his teaching career, he practiced law in Taipei. He was appointed by the WTO Director General as panelist for DS332 Brazil — Measures Affecting Imports of Retreaded Tyre in 2006 and for DS468 Ukraine — Definitive Safeguard Measures on Certain Passenger Cars in 2014, and as a member of the Permanent Group of Experts under the ASCM in 2008. He was chairman (2013-2019) of the Asia WTO Research Network (AWRN), which covers 17 jurisdictions and 52 members from these jurisdictions.

He received his SJD degree from Harvard Law School in 1989. He is author of 15 books, editor of 8 books, and author of more than 120 journal papers and book chapters. He received an Outstanding Scholarship Chair Professorship Award (2006.08-2011.07; by the Foundation for the Advancement of Outstanding Scholarship) and a National Chair Professorship Award (2001.08-2004.07; by the Ministry of Education, Taiwan) in recognition of his scholarly achievements. His fields include international economic law, WTO, competition law, treaty law, human rights, international health law, and international arbitration, among others.

Kathleen Claussen

Kathleen Claussen is Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center. She is the author of more than five dozen works concerning trade, investment, and international dispute settlement, among other related research areas. She has also acted as counsel or arbitrator in over two dozen international disputes. Among other leadership roles, she has served on the Executive Council and Executive Committee of the American Society of International Law and is co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of International Economic Law. Prior to joining the academy, Professor Claussen was Associate General Counsel at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.  Earlier in her career, she was Legal Counsel at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague covering disputes between countries and investment law arbitrations.  She is a graduate of Yale Law School, Queen’s University Belfast where she was a Mitchell Scholar, and Indiana University where she was a Wells Scholar.

Jeffrey Schott

Jeffrey J. Schott joined the Peterson Institute for International Economics in 1983 and is a senior fellow working on international trade policy and economic sanctions. During his tenure at the Institute, Schott also has taught at Princeton University (1994) and Georgetown University (1986–88). He was formerly a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (1982–83) and an official of the US Treasury Department (1974–82) in international trade and energy policy. During the Tokyo Round of multilateral trade negotiations, he was a member of the US delegation that negotiated the GATT Subsidies Code. He formerly was a member of the Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy of the US Department of State and co-chaired the Trade and Environment Policy Advisory Committee of the US Trade Representative’s office. Schott is the author, coauthor, or editor of numerous books on trade, including The Trans-Pacific Partnership: An Assessment (2016), From Drift to Deals: Advancing the WTO Agenda (2015), Local Content Requirements: A Global Problem (2013), and Economic Sanctions Reconsidered (2007).

Webinar moderated by Prof Peter Van den Bossche

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