US, Taiwan to sign 1st deal under Bilateral Trade Pact: USTR Office
US Trade Representative Katherine Tai previously called the agreement an important step to strengthen the economic relationship between Taiwan and Washington.
According to the US Trade Representative, Thursday will mark the signing of the "21st-century trade" agreement between the US and Taiwan.
The USTR office announced in its daily guidance that Ambassador Sarah Bianchi would witness the "signing of the first agreement under the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade by representatives of the American Institute in Taiwan and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States."
Last month, the US Trade Representative Katherine Tai called the agreement "an important step forward in strengthening the US-Taiwan economic relationship.” She went on to say that the agreement includes customs and border processes, regulatory standards, and small businesses."
In response, the Chinese Foreign Ministry requested that Washington end all formal exchanges with Taipei supposedly for commercial purposes.
The new trade deal was announced ahead of the Shangri-La Dialogue regional security summit in Singapore this weekend.
Last week, White House spokesperson John Kirby said the Defense Department was discussing starting talks between Lloyd Austin and his Chinese counterpart, Li Shangfu, who was appointed defense minister in March.
Austin and Li will be in Singapore for the annual Shangri-la Dialogue, which begins on Friday. The Shangri-la Dialogue is an informal gathering of defense officials and experts that also hosts a number of side sessions.
Both are anticipated to conduct bilateral discussions with regional colleagues.
Washington recently sought to restore talks with top officials in China after relations soured in recent months, especially in light of the Chinese alleged spy balloon incident and Washington's increased militarization of countries surrounding China.
Tensions mounted again last month between the two countries after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen met made a provocative visit to the US and met with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, prompting China to condemn the talks and stage three days of military drills around Taiwan.