[時事英文] 台美BTA?

為什麼美國還未和台灣簽雙邊貿易協定(Bilateral Trade Agreement,BTA)?


WASHINGTON — For decades, Robert E. Lighthizer, the United States trade representative, was reliably one of Washington’s toughest critics when it came to China and its trade practices.
1. when it comes to 一說到, 提及
2. trade representative 貿易代表
3. toughest critics 最嚴厲的批評者
4. trade practice 貿易行為
華盛頓——在涉及中國及其貿易做法的問題上,現任美國貿易代表羅伯特·E·萊特希澤(Robert E. Lighthizer)幾十年來一直是華盛頓人士中最嚴厲的批評者之一。

But since brokering a trade deal with Beijing in January, he has become one of China’s biggest defenders within the administration, emerging as an obstacle to lawmakers and other top White House officials who want to punish China over its treatment of ethnic Muslims and begin trade talks with Taiwan.
5. broker a trade deal 安排貿易協定
6. broker (v.) 作為經紀人(或中間人)安排(交易、協議等)
7. a big defender of 替…說話的人
8. obstacle 障礙;阻礙;妨礙

Over the past several months, Mr. Lighthizer has pushed back on several proposed policy measures that rankled Beijing, arguing those efforts could disrupt the U.S.-China trade pact that he and President Trump spent more than two years trying to forge, according to several former government officials and other people familiar with the conversations.
9. push back on 推遲了
10. policy measures 政策措施
11. rankle 使人耿耿於懷;令人懷恨;使人怨憤不已
12. disrupt the U.S.-China trade pact 破壞美中貿易協議

Those views have brought Mr. Lighthizer into conflict with more hawkish members of the Trump administration, including State Department officials who have advocated closer ties with Taiwan, along with members of Congress.
13. bring …into conflict with 讓…和…產生了衝突
14. hawkish (adj.) 鷹派的
15. advocate (v.) 主張
16. closer ties 更緊密的關係

On Thursday, 50 U.S. senators of both parties sent Mr. Lighthizer a letter urging him to begin the formal process of negotiating a trade pact with Taiwan, a self-governing island that Beijing claims as part of its territory. Such a move would likely anger Beijing, which sees certain partnerships with Taiwan as an affront to China’s sovereignty.
17. urge 敦促
18. the formal process of …的正式程序
19. a trade pact 貿易協定
20. an affront (n.) to… 對…的侮辱;冒犯

“We are confident that a U.S.-Taiwan trade agreement would promote security and economic growth for the United States, Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific as a whole,” they wrote. “We urge the administration to prioritize a comprehensive trade agreement with Taiwan, and we look forward to working with you to secure this framework.”
21. promote security and economic growth 促進安全和經濟的增長
22. prioritize a comprehensive trade agreement 把全面貿易協議作為優先事項
23. secure this framework 確保這一框架的達成

Proponents say dealing directly with Taiwan could help counter some of China’s growing influence in technology and commerce, while also helping to strengthen a democratic ally. But Bonnie Glaser, a senior adviser for Asia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said concerns over preserving the trade deal with China were likely to sink the prospects of trade negotiations, at least for the remainder of this administration.
24. proponents 支持者
25. deal directly with 直接與…打交道
26. counter (v.) 制衡; 反對;對抗
支持者說,直接與台灣打交道會有助於制衡中國在科技和商業領域日益增長的影響力,同時也有助於鞏固一個民主盟友的地位。但華盛頓戰略與國際研究中心(Center for Strategic and International Studies)亞洲事務高級顧問葛來儀(Bonnie Glaser)說,對維護美中貿易協議的擔憂,可能會使與台灣進行貿易談判的前景受挫,至少在本屆政府剩下的任期內。

“The administration, particularly of course U.S.T.R., they’re focused like a laser on this trade deal with China,” she said. “The president doesn’t want it to fall apart.”
27. like a laser 像雷射(精準,專注)
28. fall apart 破裂;解體,瓦解

But Mr. Lighthizer’s reluctance to begin trade talks with Taiwan, a self-governing island that Beijing claims as part of its territory, has been more controversial. In particular, it has placed him in opposition with officials from the departments of State, Defense and Commerce and the National Security Council who support closer relations with the island to counter China’s influence.
29. reluctance to… 不情願…
30. self-governing (adj.) 自治的
31. place…in opposition with… 讓…站在了的對立面
32. counter (v.) 反駁;反對;對抗

Things came to a head after David R. Stilwell, the assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the State Department, gave a speech at a Washington think tank in late August proposing new economic engagement with Taiwan. The State Department also began planning to dispatch its most senior economic official, Keith Krach, to Taiwan in mid-September.
33. come to a head 到緊要關頭
34. think tank 智庫
35. economic engagement經濟交往
36. dispatch 派遣
8月下旬,負責東亞和太平洋地區事務的助理國務卿史達偉(David R. Stilwell)在華盛頓一家智庫發表演講,提出與台灣建立新的經濟接觸後,事情達到緊要關頭。當時,美國國務院也開始計劃派遣其最高級經濟官員基思·克拉奇(Keith Krach)於9月中旬訪問台灣。

Those proposals prompted a disagreement between Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, and Mr. Lighthizer, who viewed trade talks with Taiwan as being firmly in U.S.T.R.’s domain, three people familiar with the matter said. Another person said that U.S.T.R. and the State Department had clashed over Mr. Krach’s trip.
37. prompt (v.) 引起;導致;激起
38. trade talks 貿易談判
39. be in…’s domain 在…職權範圍內 (domain 領域,領地)
40. clash over 在…發生了激烈的爭執
據三名知情人士說,這些提議在國務卿邁克·龐皮歐(Mike Pompeo)和萊特希澤之間引發了分歧,後者堅持認為與台灣的貿易談判屬於美國貿易代表職權範圍內的事情。另一名人士說,美國貿易談判代表在克拉奇訪台的事情上也與國務院發生了衝突。

In an emailed response, Mr. Lighthizer called the anecdote “a crazy made up story.”
41. a made-up story (adj.) 捏造的,編造的;虛構的故事
42. anecdote (尤指關於某人的)趣聞,軼事

Not everyone thinks trade talks with Taiwan would be a certain success. James Green, a senior adviser at McLarty Associates and a former trade official, said the United States spent two decades negotiating with Taiwan over a trade and investment agreement with little result. He said that Mr. Lighthizer might be reluctant to begin such a long and difficult process right before an election, when the administration’s future is uncertain.
43. a certain success 一定會成功
44. with little result 收效甚微
45. reluctant to 不願意
並非所有人都認為與台灣的貿易談判一定會成功。麥克拉迪合伙人(McLarty Associates)的高級顧問、曾任貿易官員的郭嘉明(James Green)說,美國曾花了20年的時間與台灣談判一項貿易和投資協議,但收效甚微。他說,萊特希澤可能不願意在大選前、在政府的未來還不確定的時候,開始一個這麼漫長而艱難的過程。

文字轉語音: https://bit.ly/2Yw0yD5



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