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Taiwan seeks to cushion agricultural sector from potential CPTPP impact

Agricultural, auto-component sectors most likely to suffer if Taiwan joins free trade group

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Rice products from Taiwan. 

Rice products from Taiwan.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Producers of 20 types of agricultural products from Taiwan may have to brace for a hit if the country joins the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Taiwan has applied for membership in the trade bloc, which represents about 13% of the world's GDP. While the prospect of its accession to the CPTPP remains unclear, the agricultural goods and auto component industries could feel the pain if Taiwan is allowed entry, according to an assessment by the National Development Council.

A report by the Council of Agriculture (COA) indicates that 20 agricultural products would be considered vulnerable once tariff cuts are introduced. They include rice, peanuts, red beans, garlic, pineapples, mangoes, bananas, chicken, and others and are currently protected with tariff-rate quotas and safeguard measures, according to CNA.

With tariffs on about 96.2% of goods liberalized among CPTPP members, Taiwan will work to retain tariffs for some sensitive goods such as rice or negotiate longer phase-out periods for the products feeling the impact, said COA.

Some agricultural goods are poised to benefit from Taiwan’s admission to the trade bloc, though, with a boost expected for exports of flowers, some fruits, aquatic goods, teas, and eggs, the COA estimated.

Taiwan exported goods worth a combined NT$43.55 billion (US$1.57 billion) to the 11 CPTPP members in 2020, accounting for 32.1% of the total. Imports from these countries logged NT$113.7 billion (US$4.1 billion) in value last year, making up 26.7% of the total and spanning frozen beef, milk powder, apples, and wine.


Updated : 2021-10-26 13:27 GMT+08:00