U.S. Department of Commerce’s Ian Steff on the Indo-Pacific Strategy and Vision

U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets Ian Steff spoke at an AmCham Taipei luncheon meeting on November 11 on the theme of “The U.S., Taiwan, and a Free and Open Indo-Pacific.” Steff, who is concurrently Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service at the Commerce Department, was in Taiwan as head of the U.S. delegation attending the third Taiwan-U.S. Digital Economy Forum, jointly organized by the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the U.S. (TECRO).

Participation in the Digital Economy Forum from the U.S. government included officials representing the Department of State, Department of Commerce, Federal Communications Commission, U.S. Agency for International Development, and AIT. Members of the delegation also attended the AmCham luncheon, part of the Chamber’s “Insights from Washington” series.

In his presentation, Steff discussed the four pillars of activity of his office:

  • Promoting international trade relations.
  • Encouraging investment into the U.S. through the Select USA program.
  • Engaging in advocacy on behalf of U.S. companies bidding on international contracts to help ensure a fair process.
  • Working to reduce or eliminate trade barriers.

He also introduced the U.S. government’s Indo-Pacific strategy, stressing that it is “industry-driven” with the aim of enhancing commercial interests and ensuring investment climates that are friendly to U.S. investors. And he commended the Taiwan government for such recent achievements as the establishment of a patent linkage system to strengthen IPR protection for pharmaceuticals.

Before Steff’s tenure in the U.S. Department of Commerce, he served as the State of Indiana’s first Chief Innovation Officer. He also worked for the Semiconductor Industry Association for nearly a decade, during which time he traveled often to Taiwan and made lasting connections here.

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