US inks modest trade deal with Taiwan in show of support in the face of pressure from China

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States has reached a modest trade agreement with Taiwan. The pact signals Washington’s support for the island democracy as it comes under increasing pressure from China. U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai says the first agreement under the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade is expected to set the stage for a bigger deal later. The initiative announced Thursday will, among other things, cut red tape at customs and reduce waiting times for U.S. businesses bringing products to Taiwan. It also commits the U.S. and Taiwan to adopting measures to combat bribery and other forms of corruption and to encouraging more trade involving small and medium-sized businesses.