AmCham Meets with New AIT Chairman


During his first visit to Taiwan in his new capacity as the U.S.-based chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), Ambassador James Moriarty met over breakfast with representatives of AmCham Taipei and various of the Chamber’s committees and advocacy groups for a briefing on issues of concern to the U.S. business community in Taiwan. In remarks to the group, Moriarty cited the impressive changes in Taiwan since he was based here in the 1990s, especially the maturation of Taiwan’s democracy.

Also attending the meeting were AIT Deputy Director Robert Forden, who discussed the recent TIFA Council bilateral trade meeting in Washington, and representatives from AIT’s Economic and Commercial Sections.

The issues mentioned by the AmCham leaders included:

  • Technology: The importance of effective protection of propietary technology, continuing smooth cross-Strait interaction under ECFA, ensuring cybersecurity, and establishing a sound data management sysem within government.
  • Financial services: Tax reform, pension reform, and arrangements to permit domestic insurance companies to invest in infrastructure development to relieve pressure on the government budget.
  • Infrastructure: Electricity deregulation and changes in government procurement procedures to encourage more foreign investment in construction and engineering services.
  • Defense: Determining how foreign suppliers can support Taiwan’s planned efforts to build up the indigenous defense industry.
  • Retail: Protecting food safety without creating unnecessary regulatory burdens for manufacturers and importers.
  • Investment: Promoting transparency, consistency, and predictability in the investment approval proess.
  • Other: Encouraging more communication between U.S. and Taiwan regulatory bodies.

Ambassador Moriarty was chief of the AIT political section from 1995 to 1998. He later served as U.S. ambassador in Bangladesh and Nepal before retiring from the foreign service in 2011. As AIT chairman, he succeeds Raymond F. Burghardt, who held the position from 2006 until his recent retirement.

AmCham Makes Visits to Cabinet Ministers

An AmCham delegation led by Chairman Dan Silver meets with MOI Minister Yeh and his staff members.

An AmCham delegation led by Chairman Dan Silver meets with MOI Minister Yeh and his staff members.

In recent weeks, an AmCham Taipei delegation led by Chairman Dan Silver has called on two members of the Cabinet to exchange views on pertinent issues.

The first meeting was with Minister of Interior Yeh Jiunn-rong and members of his staff on September 26. The main topic was potential ways of enhancing Taiwan’s Administrative Procedure Act (APA) to increase the degree of transparency and public engagement in the process for making or revising government regulations. A former professor and vice dean at the National Taiwan University School of Law, Yeh has long had a keen interest in seeking ways to improve the rule-making process. The idea of creating an enhanced “Second Generation APA” has also been one of AmCham’s priority themes for the past two years, reflected in the annual Taiwan White Paper.

In the same spirit, the government of Premier Lin Chuan by executive order recently lengthened the time period for notice and comment on new regulations from 14 to 60 days, effective October 1. AmCham expressed its appreciation to Minister Yeh regarding this step, which the Chamber believes will lead to more effective regulations.

Also discussed was the Ministry of Interior’s ongoing efforts to review and modernize the rules governing non-government organizations (NGOs) in Taiwan.


The second meeting, on October 17, was with newly appointed Minister without Portfolio Audrey Tang, who has been designated as Taiwan’s first digital minister, with the mission of helping to create a more open government. Again, key topics were the expanded notice and comment period – and how to ensure that it is used by the private sector and government officials to optimum effectiveness – and the desirability of upgrading the existing APA.

Another subject was the new website set up by the government earlier this year to enable members of the public to participate in the making of public policy by presenting and discussing proposals. Under Tang’s guidance, the site will be further refined and expanded in the months ahead.

Besides Dan Silver, other members of the delegation in both instances included AmCham President Andrea Wu, former chairman Paul Cassingham, Senior Director Don Shapiro, and Senior Director for Government and Public Affairs Amy Chang.

Congressional Staff Delegation Visits AmCham (October 13, 2016)

A 10-member delegation of U.S. Congressional staff called at the AmCham Taipei office on October 13 for a briefing and wide-ranging discussion of the Taiwan economy and U.S.-Taiwan relations.

Usually AmCham Taipei is visited by about eight such delegations each year. They are invited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which arranges for a visit to the Chamber to be included in their schedule. “It’s like the Doorknock coming to us,” says AmCham Taipei President Andrea Wu. “It’s a great opportunity in between our trips to Washington to exchange views and emphasize the importance of the U.S.-Taiwan relationship for American business.”

Besides a briefing on AmCham Taipei’s activities and why Taiwan matters to the United States, the session included discussion of such topics as Taiwan’s regulation-making process, energy supply, healthcare system, and ambition to develop its biotech industry. Asked about the prospects for U.S. Congressional ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the visitors seemed agreed that TPP would eventually come into force, although the timing is currently impossible to predict.

The delegation included representatives from the following offices:

  • Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT),
  • Joe Manchin (D-WV),
  • Dick Durbin (D-IL),
  • Chris Coons (D-DE),
  • Steve Daines (R-MT);
  • Congressman Juan Vargas (D-CA);
  • the Office of the Speaker of the House,
  • the House Committee on Energy and Commerce,
  • the Senate Republican Conference,
  • the Subcommittee on Health of the House Committee on Ways and Means.

They were received by AmCham Chairman Dan Silver, Senior Director Don Shapiro, Senior Director for Government and Public Affairs Amy Chang, and Taiwan Business Topics Associate Editor Tim Ferry.