Private companies are not subject to rules requiring the recruitment of nationals. Employers can introduce unpaid leave with the agreement of the workers, but must inform the labour authorities and continue to provide health insurance, employment insurance and pension contributions. Taiwan offers unemployment benefits on the basis of the Employment Insurance Law, vocational training grants for the unemployed, and employment subsidies to encourage hiring. Labour laws are not abandoned to attract or retain investment. For Taiwan, a BTA with the US is essential not only because of its apparent value to the Taiwanese economy – and the increased opportunities for its businesses and consumers – but also as a step towards additional trade deals.