TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) has banned the import of buses from China in order to protect local manufacturers, reports said Wednesday.
The ban came in a directive issued on December 22, the Chinese-language Liberty Times reported. The document said all buses carrying at least 10 people, including the driver, would no longer be allowed to enter the country if they were made in China.
Lawmakers reportedly questioned the import of such buses under the guise of loose parts. The total value of buses imported from China had more than tripled from US$4.67 million (NT$139.8 million) in 2015 to US$14.23 million (NT$426 million) last year, with local manufacturers unable to maintain their competitiveness, the report said.
Officials also questioned safety levels, as several major bus accidents have happened over the past few years, the Apple Daily reported.
The initial request to ban the buses was made two years ago, but the government had first investigated the topic and considered its repercussions. The measure would create new jobs in Taiwan, officials said.