New Zealand will resume a policy of cutting tariffs on all imports from July 1, 2006, seven years after freezing the plan to protect vulnerable domestic industries, the government said yesterday. \nThe move mainly effects import tariffs on clothing, footwear and carpet -- currently at 17 percent to 19 percent -- which will be reduced to 10 percent by July 2009, Commerce Minister Lianne Dalziel said in a statement. \nAll other tariffs, which range from 5 percent to 12.5 percent, will be cut to 5 percent by 2008. \nNew Zealand's import tariffs are already among the lowest in the developed world. \nEarlier tariff cuts triggered major restructuring in some industrial sectors as they were exposed to greater competition from imported goods. \nTrade unions pressed the center-left Labor government for the freeze in 1999, fearing further reductions in tariffs would mean job losses in vulnerable industries. \nDalziel said previous tariff cuts had produced "significant productivity and welfare gains," especially for consumers. \n"The government has recognized the need for firms to ... become more innovative and internationally competitive," she said. \nThe government also recognizes that previous tariff reductions had "imposed significant adjustment pressures on industries and particularly in certain regions," she added. \nTrade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said the government had decided not to cut tariffs to zero because of uncertainty over how much international trade will be liberalized in the future. \nBut Sutton didn't rule out such a move in the future, saying that the decision to retain some low tariffs would give New Zealand leverage at future trade negotiations. \nA review in 2006 will decide tariff rates after July 2009, he said.
BRIBERY CASE: President Tsai Ing-wen accepted Su Jia-chyuan’s resignation as he said that he deeply regretted causing trouble for the president due to the investigation Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday resigned after his nephew, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), was implicated in a bribery case related to a dispute over the ownership of Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨). “I resigned from the post so that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would not be bothered by it anymore, and the prosecutors can investigate the case in a fair and just manner. I thank President Tsai once again for supporting me. May the country continue to prosper under her leadership,” Su Jia-chyuan said in a statement. The Presidential Office said that Tsai has accepted
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did
The military last week sent “no small number” of Marine Corps officers to the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Island, 東沙群島) following reports of a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) drill targeting the islands scheduled for this month. In an interview with Hong Kong’s Bauhinia Magazine published on Saturday last week, PLA National Defense University professor Li Daguang (李大光) confirmed that the Chinese army was planning to stage a simulated invasion of the Pratas Islands in the South China Sea this month. The islands comprise three atolls, with Pratas Island, at 1.74km2, being the largest. They lie southwest of Taiwan proper in the South