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Efforts for trade-in-goods deal with China will go on: BOFT

Efforts for trade-in-goods deal with China will go on: BOFT

Taipei, Nov. 7 (CNA) Responding to a protest staged by some civic groups against a merchandise trade pact being negotiated with China, a Board of Foreign Trade (BOFT) official said Saturday that the government will continue its efforts to push forward the deal, based on "national consensus." "A Taiwan-China trade-in-goods agreement will help stimulate Taiwan's economic development and upgrade its industrial structure," BOFT Deputy Director David Hsu (???) said after a protest by 20 groups demanding that the government halt negotiations with China earlier that same day. Advising the government stance that the planned cross-strait trade-in-merchandise pact will benefit both Taiwan's large and small enterprises, Hsu said the government will make all-out efforts while negotiating with China to safeguard local companies' interests and mitigate its impact on them. "If Taiwan suspends ongoing negotiations with China on the pact, Taiwanese companies will be forced to pay additional customs tariffs and see their competitive edge blunted, which might result in mass relocation of local firms to other countries," he explained. The protesting groups, including the Economic Democracy Union (??????) and Taiwan Association for Human Rights (???????), marched to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), the BOFT, then to the Council of Agriculture and converged finally on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office, where they decried the planned cross-strait merchandise trade deal while President Ma Ying-jeou (???) and Chinese leader Xi Jinping (???) were holding an unprecedented meeting in Singapore. Arguing that there will not be a trade-in-goods agreement with China until social consensus has been forged on the issue, the protesters voiced their objection to the Ma-Xi summit and demanded a halt to the trade deal negotiations, insisting on food inspection and a full protection of farmers' and laborers' rights and interests. With regard to food safety concerns, Hsu said the government will not compromise its strict quarantine inspections on imported goods, be they from mainland China or other countries and areas, regardless of the cross-strait trade-in-goods deal that is still under negotiation. He stressed that the government has put complementary measures in place to help affected sectors to overcome the negative impact of the pact. (By Flor Wang)


Updated : 2021-09-17 14:50 GMT+08:00