Tue, Jun 10, 2014 - Page 1 News List

Economics ministry urges action on cross-strait trade

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Cross-strait trade talks have been frozen for almost two months since the domestic disagreement over the cross-strait service trade agreement, Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Woody Duh (杜紫軍) said yesterday.

Duh said he felt “little possibility” for the two sides to finish negotiations over the follow-up trade-in-goods agreement by the end of the year because of the deal’s complexity.

He added that the nation should be aware of the potential adverse effect on national competitiveness if South Korea signs a trade-in-goods agreement with China first.

“Each government agency has made its best effort to explain the pros and cons of the service trade pact to the public,” Duh told a media briefing. “We all expect society to embrace the deal and let it take effect as soon as possible.”

The legislature has yet to ratify the service trade pact, which was signed in June last year. An extra legislative session is scheduled to open on Friday.

Negotiations over follow-up cross-strait trade deals are expected to resume only if the service trade pact wins approval, Duh said.

The trade-in-goods agreement covers more than 10,000 products made by Taiwanese or Chinese businesses. The deal matters to Taiwan because products such as industrial machines and chemicals are among the nation’s major exports, Duh said.

Even if the two nations reach an agreement on the trade-in-goods pact, the legislature will have to review and ratify it, so that customs can adjust its rules before the deal comes into force, he said.

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