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Taiwan may yield on farm goods to get trade deal with China: report

Taiwan may yield on farm goods to get trade deal with China: report

Taiwan is planning to yield to some extent on allowing agricultural goods to be imported from China in exchange for concessions from Beijing to clinch a trade-in-goods agreement with Taipei, the Economic Daily News reported Friday.

Citing unnamed sources, the report said Taiwan is expected to conditionally allow imports of some of the 830 agricultural items from China that are currently banned as part of a trade deal, which could prompt Beijing to grant zero tariff status to some of Taiwan's main industrial exports.

The report said Taiwan is likely to allow in agricultural items that its does not grow itself and imports from other countries, meaning that the Chinese shipments would not pose much of a threat to domestic farmers.

The items likely to be allowed in include apples, cherries, pears, grapefruits, tomatoes and wheat. Imports from China of several sensitive items, however, such as rice and peanuts, will remain banned, the report said.

Taiwan and China completed a 12th round of negotiations on the agreement last week, but the talks stalled when Taipei turned down Beijing's request to lift its ban on the 830 categories of Chinese farm produce.

The two sides have yet to decide when the next round of talks will be held. Many business groups in Taiwan have called for Taipei and Beijing to conclude the talks and sign the deal as soon as possible.

According to the report, concessions on agricultural goods could bring economic benefits to Taiwan if Taiwanese industrial exporters of such products as flat panels, machine tools and petrochemicals receive zero tariff status for the products they shipped to China.

The trade-in-goods agreement is one of the follow-up pacts to the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), a comprehensive cross-Taiwan Strait economic accord signed in 2010.

The other trade pact is a trade-in-services agreement that was signed in June 2013 but has yet to be ratified by Taiwan's Legislative Yuan. (By Frances Huang)

Updated : 2021-09-19 17:25 GMT+08:00