President Tsai Ing-wen met with Ian Steff, Assistant Secretary for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service at the US Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration on the morning of December 9. The president stated that Taiwan plays an irreplaceable role in the global high-tech supply chain. As global economic conditions continue to face dramatic changes due to the US-China trade conflict, she said, a high-quality bilateral trade agreement (BTA) between Taiwan and the United States would ensure a reliable and secure supply chain and inject new momentum into our countries' economies to spur economic growth and prosperity.
A translation of President Tsai's remarks follows:
It is a pleasure to welcome you to the Presidential Office. This is my second time meeting with Assistant Secretary Steff in the past year. I have also heard that in the more than two years you have worked at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Taiwan is the trading partner you have visited the most. I want to thank you for attaching such great importance to Taiwan.
I also want to take the opportunity to thank Assistant Secretary Steff for signing a joint letter this past September with Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell and Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service Administrator Ken Isley to Fortune magazine's top 500 companies urging them to strengthen commercial ties with Taiwan. The US government's interdepartmental support for Taiwan is the strongest proof that Taiwan-US relations are at their best ever.
In addition to serving as a steadfast democratic ally to the United States, Taiwan is also a reliable commercial partner. This year, Taiwan once again sent the largest delegation to the SelectUSA Investment Summit hosted by the Department of Commerce, and the delegation garnered outstanding results.
Taiwan's free and open market has also attracted many US companies to actively invest in Taiwan. Cutting-edge firms like CISCO, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon Web Services have all established R&D or innovation centers in Taiwan. Both Micron Technology and Applied Materials recently announced that they will be expanding their investments in Taiwan, strengthening our crucial place in both the DRAM manufacturing industry and the semiconductor supply chain.
Taiwan plays an irreplaceable role in the global high-tech supply chain. As global economic conditions continue to face dramatic changes due to the US-China trade conflict, a high-quality BTA between Taiwan and the United States would ensure a reliable and secure supply chain and inject new momentum into our countries' economies to spur economic growth and prosperity.
I know that you are in Taiwan to take part in the third Taiwan-US Digital Economy Forum, where we will explore the opportunities and challenges the digital economy brings. I look forward to continuing to work with the United States in this respect, so that we can both work toward becoming digital nations.
Finally, I want to welcome Assistant Secretary Steff and our guests once again, and wish you all a smooth and successful visit. Thank you.
American Institute in Taiwan Taipei Office Director William Brent Christensen was also present at the meeting.