President Trump’s top trade negotiator came under new pressure from Congress on Thursday to strike a formal trade deal with Taiwan amid rapidly worsening tensions with mainland China.
In a bipartisan letter signed by 50 senators, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer was urged to start negotiating with Taipei in order to reduce US “reliance” on China, diversify the country’s supply chains and protect American national security.
A comprehensive trade deal, the senators wrote, would “serve as a signal to other nations that Taiwan is a viable partner that is open for business”.
The letter was the latest sign of a growing consensus between the two parties that Washington needs to do more to stand up to Beijing – a feeling that only seems to have intensified during the coronavirus pandemic.
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