Minister Without Portfolio John Deng (鄧振中), the nation’s top trade negotiator, yesterday said Taiwanese firms’ practice of exporting to the US products made of steel and aluminum from China was the reason that Taiwan has not been exempted from tariffs announced by Washington.
Deng, who is returning to Taiwan after leading a delegation to the US on Sunday last week to seek a tariff exemption, made the remark in a telephone interview with the Central News Agency.
The nation’s unsuccessful attempt to be included in the list of exemptions reflected Washington’s concerns that some Taiwanese firms import steel and aluminum from China and process them into finished goods before selling them to the US market, Deng said.
Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times
US President Donald Trump’s tariffs seem to be aimed at curbing alleged dumping of Chinese steel and aluminum products in the US, he said.
Washington might be hoping to work with other nations to stop this situation, he added.
Deng said that after returning to Taiwan early today, he would meet with local exporters to map out a solution.
Despite the setback, he said the government would continue to try to convince the US to exempt Taiwan as a whole, while encouraging individual exporters to seek their own exemption.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs would provide assistance to individual firms that wish to seek an exemption, he added.
The temporary exemption list would not take effect until a formal notice is released by the end of next month, Deng said, adding that Washington welcomes other nations to enter into talks with its trade office for an exemption.
On March 8, Trump signed an order under Section 232 of the US’ Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to impose a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum.
The duties took effect on Friday.
It was the first time in more than three decades that the law has been invoked to protect a US industry from competition from imports.
On Friday, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told a US Senate panel that Trump has decided to grant a temporary exemption to the EU, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Brazil, Argentina and South Korea as it carries out further negotiations with them.
However, the order signed by Trump leaves open a door to other nations that want to get tariff waivers, as long as they are able to offer a satisfactory alternative during talks with the Office of the US Trade Representative.
While in the US, Deng met with many US government officials and academics from major think tanks, as well as representatives from the business sector, which he said helped him gain a better understanding about the tariff issue.
Deng said he would report to Premier William Lai (賴清德) as soon as possible to discuss whether he will lead another delegation to Washington.
Taiwan’s steel product exports to the US totaled US$1.3 billion last year, accounting for 13.16 percent of the nation’s total exports, while aluminum product exports totaled US$44 million, or 6.15 percent of total aluminum exports, the ministry said
Last year, the US was the largest buyer of the nation’s steel products and the sixth-largest buyer of aluminum products, it said.
Malaysian authorities have advised women to wear makeup, not to nag their husbands and speak with a cartoon character’s soothing voice during the virus lockdown, sparking a flood of mockery online. Like many countries, Malaysia has ordered all citizens to stay at home to stem the spread of COVID-19, which, as of yesterday, had killed at least 39,070 people globally. In a series of online posters with the hashtag #WomenPreventCOVID19, the Malaysian Ministry of Women and Family Development issued advice on how to avoid domestic conflicts during the partial lockdown, which began on March 18. One of the campaign posters depicted
Taiwan will negotiate with the WHO about its participation without Beijing’s help and intervention as more countries, including Australia and Japan, are partnering with Taiwan to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a telephonic roundtable with reporters on Monday also supported Taiwan’s role in the WHO, saying the US Department of State would do its best to assist Taiwan’s “appropriate role” in the world’s highest health policy setting body, Voice of America reported. In a Japan Business Press report published on Sunday, Chinese Ambassador to Japan Kong Xuanyou (孔鉉佑) said
KEEP AWAY: People should wear a mask in places where they cannot follow social distancing rules, the CECC said, adding that it would publish detailed guidelines today The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced 16 new cases of COVID-19, including two domestic cases, as it urged people to practice social distancing in public spaces by keeping a distance of at least 1m when outdoors and 1.5m indoors. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that seven of the new cases tested positive upon their arrival at the airport, four were under home quarantine, one was under home isolation and two were under self-health management, while the two domestic cases sought treatment on their own. The domestic cases are a man in his
Two US senators were critical of the WHO after a senior WHO official appeared to hang up on a Hong Kong reporter who asked about Taiwan’s membership status in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. During a video interview with Radio Television Hong Kong’s Yvonne Tong (唐若韞) on Saturday, WHO Assistant Director-General Bruce Aylward first claimed not to have heard her question on whether the WHO would consider giving Taiwan membership. When Tong repeated the question, he asked her to “move on to another one.” The video then showed the line disconnecting after Tong said she would like to hear more about Taiwan.