Wed, May 03, 2006 - Page 11 News List

ECCT cites failure to meet certain WTO promises

STAFF WRITER

The European Chamber of Commerce in Taipei (ECCT) yesterday released its latest WTO Monitoring project, singling out several areas where it said Taiwan was still not fulfilling pledges made when it entered the world trade body in 2002.

This is the fifth consecutive year the ECCT has conducted a review of Taiwan's compliance with WTO commitments.

In the review, which was conducted by Baker & McKenzie, the ECCT said Taiwan was failing to comply with the WTO in opening procurement to foreign bidders, removing import bans on items from China, as well as automobile testing and fuel economy standards, and the nation's new alcohol import barriers.

Taiwan had promised to accede to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement by January 2003, but political bickering with China regarding the wording of certain documents has delayed the adoption.

Regarding imports from China, the government lifted import restrictions on 82 items last year, but still bans 2,400 items, citing national security concerns and potential injury to domestic industries.

The report also said the pharmaceutical sector should ensure that certain manufacturing validation procedures are in line with international norms.

The ECCT report also said that the nation's sanitary and phytosanitary standards for the import of food products are unnecessarily restrictive.

Enforcement of intellectual property rights cases also warranted further monitoring after the government revised civil and criminal remedies in the Copyright, Trademark and Patent Act, the report said.

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