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A Message for U.S. Citizens: Notice Regarding Social Security Services

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has consolidated its overseas operations into several regional offices that provide a full range of SSA services for U.S. citizens residing outside of the United States.  Effective October 1, 2017, individuals residing in Taiwan who require social security services or have questions about SSA benefits must contact the SSA Federal Benefits Unit (FBU) located in the Philippines, rather than the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT).

Please be advised that as of October 1, AIT can no longer accept telephone calls, emails, or walk-in consultations regarding Social Security issues.

For more information or any questions about the services provided at the FBU in the Philippines and how to contact them, please visit their webpage at: https://ph.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/social-security/. You can also reach them at (632) 301-2000 ext. 9, or FBU.Manila@ssa.gov.

For comprehensive information on SSA’s services abroad, please visit SSA’s webpage, “Service Around the World.”

If you are already receiving SSA benefits payments, there will be no change in the method of distribution of those payments.

Meeting with Senator Steve Daines

Representatives from AmCham Taipei met with visiting U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MO) at the American Institute in Taiwan during his one-day trip to Taiwan on September 22. Daines is the only member of the Senate with experience working in Asia, and he expressed a keen interest in strengthening U.S.-Taiwan relations.

Representatives from AmCham Taipei met with U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MO)

A chemical engineering graduate of Montana State University, Daines spent 13 years with Procter & Gamble, including six years living in Hong Kong and China  spearheading P&G’s entry into the China market. His business experience also includes three years with his family’s construction company in Montana, and service with RightNow Technologies, a cloud-based software company, as Vice President of North America Sales and Vice President of the Asia-Pacific division.

Attending the meeting from AmCham were Standing Vice Chairman Dan Silver, President Andrea Wu, Former Chairmen Paul Cassingham and Thomas McGowan, Governor and Human Resources Committee Co-chair Seraphim Ma, and Senior Directors Don Shapiro and Amy Chang.

USEPA Meets with AmCham Taipei

During a recent visit to Taipei, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Acting Assistant Administrator Jane Nishida, met with AmCham Taipei on July 7th. Nishida has over 30 years of environmental experience working in federal and state government, and international and nongovernmental organizations. She currently leads EPA’s international and tribal engagements, and works closely with tribal governments, foreign governments, international organizations, and other U.S. agency partners on matters relating to environmental policy and program implementation in tribal lands and internationally.

Justin Harris, Senior Program Manager from the EPA, accompanied Nishida to meet with members from AmCham Taipei, including President Andrea Wu; Sustainable Development Committee Co-chair Kenny Jeng, A/P Product Stewardship Manager of DuPont Taiwan Ltd. and Co-chair Cosmas Lu, Strategy Adviser of Super Dragon Technology Co. Ltd.,; Public and Government Affairs Consultant Stella Lai from Dell Taiwan; and Senior Manager for APJ Environmental Affairs & Producer Responsibility Vivian Tai, also from Dell.

From left to right: Anna Wang, Economic Officer, AIT Econ Section; Kenny Jeng of DuPont Taiwan, AmCham Taipei Sustainable & Development Committee Co-chair; Andrea Wu, AmCham Taipei President; Jane Nishida, USEPA Acting Assistant Administrator; Cosmas Lu of Super Dragon, AmCham Taipei Sustainable Development Committee Co-chair; Stella Lai of Dell Taiwan, AmCham Taipei Tax Committee Co-chair; Vivian Tai, also from Dell Taiwan; and Justin Harris, USEPA Senior Program Manager

The purpose of the trip was to meet with the Taiwan government and U.S. business community to discuss the different elements of the U.S.-Taiwan and APEC regional environmental cooperation. Some of the key areas of discussion include 1) Monitoring Air Quality 2) Mercury Pollution 3) Circular Economy and 4) International E-Waste Network (IEWN). Members of AmCham Taipei also exchanged their views with the USEPA officials on corporate sustainability programs and challenges in the region, especially Taiwan.

The AIT and AmCham Taipei Co-Host U.S.-Taiwan International Patient Day

The American Institute of Taiwan (AIT) and AmCham Taipei co-hosted U.S.-Taiwan International Patient Day at the AmCham Taipei Lincoln Room on May 24. The goal of the International Patient Day is for foreign government regulators and high-level officials to see the personal impact U.S. medical technology has on the Taiwan population.

The event featured presentations by local doctors and medical experts on how U.S. medical technologies are being used to ease suffering for patients, while increasing the probability of full-recovery and reducing mortality in Taiwan. Patients were also in attendance at the event to share their personal stories and experiences on how U.S. medical technologies have helped to improve their lives during the treatment and recovery. U.S. technologies that were highlighted include: 1) advanced hemodynamic monitoring for major burn victims; 2) transcatheter aortic valve replacement surgery (TAVR); 3) insulin pump therapy for diabetic patients; and 4) closures for left atrial appendage. Representatives from Cigna also introduced their healthcare platform to help consumers manage their health and engage with care systems via mobile app.

From left to right: Henley Jones, Commercial Officer, AIT Commercial Section, Tsung-Hsi Wang (王宗曦), Secretary General, Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW), Andrea Wu, President of AmCham Taipei, Mao-Ting Sheen (沈茂庭), Chief Secretary, National Health Insurance Administration, MOHW

Attendees to the U.S.-Taiwan International Patient Day included Tsung-Hsi Wang (王宗曦), Secretary General, Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW), Cheng-Hua Lee (李丞華), Deputy Director General, National Health Insurance Administration, MOHW, Mao-Ting Sheen (沈茂庭), Chief Secretary, National Health Insurance Administration, MOHW, and other officials from healthcare and medical related divisions.

Special thanks to the doctors and specialists who presented and shared their medical expertise:

  • Chia-Shen Yang, Chief, Burn Center and Division of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery at Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital
    楊家森醫師 – 高雄長庚燒燙傷中心主任、高雄長庚醫院整形外科醫師
  • Wei-Hsien Yin, Cardiologist, Chief, Division of Cardiology, Heart Centre at Cheng Hsin General Hospital
    殷偉賢醫師 – 振興醫院心臟醫學中心 心臟血管內科主任
  • Chia-Hung Lin, Attending physician, Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology at Taoyuan Chang Gung Memorial Hospital
    林嘉鴻醫師 – 桃園長庚醫院新陳代謝科主治醫師
  • Amy Lee, VP of Operations at Cigna Taiwan
    李映慧 – 康健人壽資深副總
  • Sandy Chen, Chief Operation Officer at Cigna Taiwan
    陳立琳 – 康健人壽營運長
  • Chia-Ti Tsai, Attending Physician in Cardiology, National Taiwan University Hospital
    Professor of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University
    蔡佳醍 醫師 台大心臟內科部主治醫師、國立台灣大學醫學院內科專任教授

Leadership Meeting with AIT Chairman James Moriarty

During his latest visit to Taiwan, the U.S.-based chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan, Ambassador James Moriarty, exchanged views with members of the AmCham Taipei leadership today at a breakfast discussion. The two sides discussed the relationship between the United States and Taiwan, including economic ties, as well as regional issues.

AmCham leaders also briefed the AIT chairman on such subjects as the Chamber’s 2017 Business Climate Survey, difficulties for companies and employees caused by recent revisions in the Labor Standards Law, and prospective business opportunities arising from the government’s Asia·Silicon Valley plan to promote the digital economy.

Attending the meeting from AIT Taipei were Economic Section Chief Jeff Horwitz, Commercial Section Chief Ireas Cook, and Economic Section Deputy Chief Michael Pignatello. Representing AmCham were President Andrea Wu, Vice Chairman Daniel Tseng, Government Relations Committee Co-chair Paul Cassingham, AmCham Secretary and IP&L Committee Co-chair Vincent Shih, AmCham Governor Leo Seewald, AmCham Supervisor and Travel & Tourism Committee Co-chair Anita Chen, Retail Committee Co-chair Mark Chen, Sustainable Development Committee Co-chair Kenny Jeng, Senior Director and Taiwan Business TOPICS Editor-in-chief Don Shapiro, and Senior Director for Government & Public Affairs Amy Chang.

Technology Licensing Expert Dialogue

The American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei (AmCham), in partnership with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO), and the Taiwan–USA Industrial Cooperation Office (TUSA), hosted a Technology Licensing Expert Dialogue on March 30.

Building on the success of the second Digital Economy Forum in October, 2016, the dialogue brought together legal and technology experts from the United States and Taiwan to discuss practical guidance on the booming US$5 billion trade in technology licensing. The esteemed speakers included Hong Shu-ming, Director General of the Taiwan Intellectual Protection Office (TIPO) and the Honorable Judge Sidney H. Stein of the United States District Court Southern District of New York, who opened the forum.

Hosted by Kris Kvols, economic officer at AIT, over 100 participants listened to presentations discussing myriad complexities of licensing technology between American, Taiwanese, and Chinese markets.

Event Reminder: Technology Licensing Expert Dialogue

The American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei is pleased to co-host with the Taiwan-USA Industrial Cooperation Promotion Office (TUSA) of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) a “Technology Licensing Expert Dialogue” on March 30, 2017. Members of the media are invited to cover the opening session of the dialogue.

Members of the media who plan to cover this event are required to sign up with AIT’s Public Diplomacy Section by noon on March 29 via email to AITinfo@mail.ait.org.tw or fax 2162-2242.

Event:             Technology Licensing Expert Dialogue

Time:               9:00 – 10:00 a.m., Thursday, March 30, 2017

Venue:             AIT’s American Center – 21st Floor, 333 Keelung Road, Section 1, Taipei

Language:        English with simultaneous interpretation

 

Agenda:

08:40 – Media registration

09:00 – Welcome remarks by Christian Marchant, Acting Deputy Director, AIT

  • Remarks by Mei-hua Wang, Vice Minister, Ministry of Economic Affairs
  • Remarks by Mark Cohen, Senior Counsel, United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

09:20 – Group Photos

09:25 – Keynote Speeches

  • TIPO, Your Best Partner!, Shu-min Hong, Director General, TIPO (Taiwan Intellectual Property Office)
  • Maximizing IP Commercialization:  Less is More, Honorable Judge Sidney H. Stein, United States District Court Southern District of New York

10:00 – Opening Session Concludes

The expert dialogue will address the legal framework and provide practical guidance for industry participants in the thriving US$5 billion U.S.-Taiwan licensing trade.  This trade creates value through spurring innovation, disseminating technology, and generating income for intellectual property owners through technology transfer and commercialization. This program is being held in furtherance of the October 2016 Digital Economy Forum, at which both sides affirmed the importance of intellectual property rights and licensing to expand two-way technology trade and investment between the two economies.

For more information, please contact the AmCham Government & Public Affairs or tel: 02-2718-8226 ext. 213

President Tsai Addresses AmCham Taipei Banquet, Hsieh Nien Fan

The American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei held its 49th annual Hsieh Nien Fan banquet on March 22nd in the Grand Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt Taipei. This year’s attendance was a record high of nearly 700 AmCham Taipei members and guests.

The purpose of the event is to express thanks to Taiwan government officials, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), and other friends of the Chamber for their cooperation and support in the previous year.

Attending for the first time since taking office last May, President Tsai Ing-wen delivered the keynote speech, becoming the fourth president of the Republic of China to do so.  She commended AmCham Taipei, noting that “for 66 years this chamber has served as a vital bridge between Taiwan, the United States, and the business communities of our two countries.” Citing AmCham Taipei’s annual Doorknock delegation to Washington D.C., Tsai said that “without these efforts, the Taiwan-U.S. partnership would not be in the robust health it is in today.”

President Tsai Ing-wen delivered the keynote speech, becoming the fourth president of the Republic of China to do so.

The president said that with a new administration now in office in the United States, “we have entered a new stage of Taiwan-U.S. relations.” She outlined her government’s plans to strengthen that relationship in three areas:

  1. Strategic. Taiwan is supporting peace-keeping efforts in Iraq and Syria by assisting with international mine-removal efforts; in January it also donated a mobile hospital for use in Iraq. In addition, Taiwan will make greater investment in its own defense, to the benefit of peace and stability in the region, and will seek more cooperation with American defense firms as it builds up an indigenous defense industry and procures more military systems from the United States. This initiative, together with programs in aerospace and cybersecurity, will help create thousands of jobs in Taiwan and the U.S., Tsai said.
  2. Trade. The United States is already Taiwan’s second largest trading partner, with trade in goods and services reaching US$85 billion last year. Faced with the Trump administration’s America First policy, however, “Taiwan is prepared to make adjustments” – emphasizing not only free trade but fair trade, the president said. Referring to her background as a trade negotiator, she said “I firmly believe that through communication and negotiation, trade conflicts and other differences can always be resolved.” She stated her hope that Taiwan and the U.S. can “work together toward a new bilateral trade agreement – preferably, of course, FTA-type.”
  3. Investment. Taiwan will send its largest ever delegation to attend the SelectUSA investment summit in Washington this June to actively seek opportunities to invest in the United States. At the same time, Taiwan’s 5+2 innovation program will open new opportunities for cooperation and investment in Taiwan by U.S. companies and for the purchase of American goods.

AmCham Taipei Chairman, Albert Chang, presented President Tsai with the book The Female Lead: Women Who Shape Our World, as a gift to show our gratitude for her participation and support of the event.

Opening the evening were remarks by AmCham Taipei Chairman, Albert Chang, who expressed thanks on behalf of the Chamber to both the Taiwan government and AIT for helping to promote a positive business environment in Taiwan. He stressed the findings of AmCham Taipei’s recent 2017 Business Climate Survey that an already excellent business environment – especially with regard to quality of life and human capital – could easily be further improved through greater regulatory transparency and consistency.

Director Kin W. Moy of the American Institute in Taiwan also spoke, stressing the opportunities for further U.S.-Taiwan economic cooperation through such channels as the ongoing dialogue as part of the TIFA (Trade and Investment Framework Agreement) platform, bilateral Digital Economy Forums, Global Cooperation and Training Framework, International Environmental Partnership, and APEC.

Besides President Tsai, other high-level Taiwan government dignitaries in attendance this year included:

  • National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General Joseph Wu
  • Legislative Yuan Secretary General Jih-Jia Lin
  • Executive Yuan Minister without Portfolio John Chen-Chung
  • Ministry of Interior Minister Jiunn-rong Yeh 
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister David Tawei Lee
  • Ministry of Science and Technology Minister Liang-Gee Chen
  • Ministry of Health and Welfare Minister Shih-Chung Chen 
  • Environmental Protection Administration Minister Ying-Yuan Lee 
  • National Communications Commission Chairperson Nicole,T.I. Chan

The event would not have been possible without the contribution of the following sponsors:

  • Platinum Sponsor: Citibank
  • Gold Sponsors: Corning Display; Franklin Templeton Investments; Standard Chartered Bank
  • Silver Sponsors: 3M, HSBC, JTI, and Micron
  • Bronze Sponsors: Air Products, American Express, Baker & McKenzie, Dun & Bradstreet, K&L Gates, Philip Morris, Qualcomm, and Siemens
  • General Sponsors: Audi, Ford Lio Ho, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Grand Hyatt Taipei, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, and Tobacco Institute of the Republic of China.
  • Wine & Liquor: Diageo Taiwan, Sergio Valente

A reminder of Taiwan’s local laws related to controlled substances

Over the last several months, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) has seen an increase in arrests related to possession of marijuana. The U.S. citizen community in Taiwan should be aware that penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs (including marijuana) in Taiwan are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Taiwan also has the death penalty for certain drug offenses. Law enforcement in Taiwan treats all drug violations very seriously.

The AIT would like to remind all U.S. citizens in Taiwan of the guidance contained in the Department of State’s travel.state.gov website on Taiwan’s local laws, particularly as these laws relate to controlled substances.

Please visit U.S. Department of State’s website at:
https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/taiwan.html 

Learn about the dangers of drug use abroad, please visit:
https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/go/drugs.html

For information on arrest or detention of a U.S. citizen abroad: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/emergencies/arrest.html

Join AIT and Director Moy for a U.S. Citizen Town Hall

AIT Director Kin Moy would like to invite U.S. Citizens to a town hall on Wednesday, February 15th at 6:00pm at The Taipei American School (TAS). Director Moy will answer your questions and discuss AIT’s role in Taiwan in promoting U.S.-Taiwan relations.

AIT will also share information about the services they provide for U.S. citizens, and consular officers will be on hand to provide off-site notarial services and accept passport renewal applications.*

Who: All U.S. citizen travelers/residents are invited, so tell your friends!
This event will be off the record. No filming or recording, please.

When: Wednesday, February 15th at 6:00pm (please plan to arrive at TAS at 5:30pm
as you will have to pass through TAS security before entering the school grounds)

Where: The Taipei American School Small Theater
(2nd floor– follow the signs from the main entrance)
No. 800, Section 6, Zhongshan N Rd, Shilin District, Taipei
There is no campus parking available, but there are several public lots in the vicinity.
Please consider taking public transportation.

Please RSVP by Monday, February 13th to amcit-ait-t@state.gov. A U.S. passport will be required for entry.

*AIT will only provide the services listed above. For all other services, please visit:
https://acs.ait.org.tw/en/scheduling-appointments.html