Thu, Feb 16, 2006 - Page 10 News List

Taiwan prepares trade policy defense


Taiwan should use the Trade Policy Review Mechanism of the WTO to clarify the country's trade policy towards China, experts said on Tuesday.

The WTO's first policy review on Taiwan, which is scheduled for June 20 and June 22, is expected to include Taiwan's policy of restricting Chinese imports, a measure which has raised concerns that it could be in violation of WTO rules.

Under this circumstance, Taiwan's priority should be to explain the issue fully in the government's policy statement to be presented to the WTO, experts said.

They noted that a policy statement drafted by the government of a WTO member economy should mention its relations with major trading partners.

Therefore, Taiwan should not try to evade the issue by leaving out China in the statement, they said.

Fu Dong-cheng (傅棟成), director of the Mainland Affairs Council's department of economic affairs, said on Monday in Taipei that the government restricts Chinese imports because Taiwan and China did not conduct any bilateral talks before they were admitted to the WTO. Fu said the lack of talks made it impossible for Taiwan to consider whether WTO rules apply to cross-strait trade.

Taiwan officials pointed out that since joining the WTO, the country has taken the initiative to review its trade policy toward China and requested bilateral talks with China, but the requests have repeatedly been rejected by Beijing.

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