Thu, Dec 15, 2005 - Page 11 News List

Taiwan focusing on anti-dumping rules at WTO meet

STAFF WRITER

Taiwan has joined forces with 16 other WTO members to press for transparent anti-dumping regulations, which would prevent abuse of the procedures by some countries, Steve Chen (陳瑞隆), vice minister of Economic Affairs, said yesterday.

Chen made the remark at an unofficial conference during the sixth WTO ministerial meeting in Hong Kong.

"We will try our best to safeguard our economic interests," Chen told reporters.

The group of 17 member countries which will address amending WTO anti-dumping regulations includes Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Norway, Switzerland and Brazil, among others, Chen said.

Anti-dumping actions, such as higher customs duties, are aimed at preventing foreign companies from undercutting local competitors.

These actions are frequently used to curb the sales of high-tech manufacturers in Asia, and have also been applied by some countries to protect their own industries.

Anti-dumping charges filed by other countries have affected local memory-chip and optoelectronic product makers in particular, Chen said.

Taiwan is a victim of the abuse of anti-dumping actions, Chen said.

Citing WTO statistics, Chen said that Taiwan faced 89 charges of dumping from 1995 to the end of last year, the third highest number of charges after China and South Korea.

According to WTO statistics, India and the US have filed the most anti-dumping charges against other countries, Chen said.

Major issues to be discussed in the six-day ministerial meeting include

subsidies to the agricultural sector, market access for the service industry

and tariff reduction on non-agricultural goods.

Taiwan is hoping that tariffs on some non-agricultural items will be cut to

zero. Should such an agreement be reached during the meeting, Taiwan plans

to target several markets with competitive products like textiles, bicycles,

sports equipment, jewelry and musical instruments, a ministry statement

said.

Target markets would include the US, Europe, China, India and Southeast

Asia, the statement said.

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