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Industry calls for completing cross-strait trade-in-goods talks

Industry calls for completing cross-strait trade-in-goods talks

Taipei, Dec. 23 (CNA) Taiwan's petrochemical industry urged the government Wednesday to complete negotiations and the inking of a trade-in-goods agreement with China as soon as possible, given that most of Taiwan's plastic and chemical products are sold there.

Establishing such a cross-strait trade deal is even more vital for the industry than joining the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact, Chen Bao-lang, chairman of the Petrochemical Industry Association of Taiwan, said at a seminar on the impact and challenges posed by the TPP to Taiwan that was organized by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and was attended by representatives from the petrochemical and plastic raw material industries.

With China imposing a 6.5 percent tariff on petrochemical imports from Taiwan, the country's petrochemical manufacturing companies are less competitive than many of their foreign counterparts that are granted zero tariffs on their exports to China through their investments in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), based on the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

While the petrochemical industry supports the government's efforts to join the TPP soon, it is widely believed in the industry that the inking of the cross-strait trade-in-goods pact is even more important.

The most difficult problem facing Taiwan's pursuit of joining the TPP is not its qualifications but in negotiations on terms for joining the trade bloc, according to Chen.

Access to the TPP could be more complex than for World Trade Organization accession, because the TPP generally calls for full trade liberalization, in contrast to the partial reforms accepted in WTO protocols. In addition, the TPP encompasses more stringent reciprocal obligations for those countries prepared to undertake them, Chen noted.
(By Huang Chiao-wen and Evelyn Kao)

Updated : 2021-09-22 07:54 GMT+08:00