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It is said that Taiwanese government is showing friendliness to the Chinese government by lifting the ban on 830 agricultural products from China. This will benefit Taiwanese products such as flat panels, machine tools, petrochemicals, orchids, pet fishes, edamame beans through giving them a zero-tariff treatment.

UDN reports, the negotiation on the agreement of cross-strait trade of goods should have been held today but has been postponed. Mainland Affairs Council Deputy Minister Lin Chu-chia said on December 24 that both governments are negotiating and they hope to produce concrete results.

It is said that the economic and trade departments on both sides are conducting a consultation on a small scale, hoping to bring each other closer. After this, they will reschedule the thirteenth round of negotiations.

It is said that the negotiations for the agreement on cross-strait trade in goods have been formed as “Industry Supports Agriculture” and “conditional release regulations for 830 agricultural products.” The former indicates that the Taiwanese government would allow agricultural products not produced in Taiwan to be imported in exchange for zero-tariff treatment for China’s industrial products to be exported. The latter indicates that Taiwanese regulations regarding agriculture would be released for the products Taiwan does not produce and has a large need to be imported. In addition, the import should not become threats to the farmers’ livelihood, but benefits.

China Times reports, Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Bao-ji says, regarding the liberalization of markets, the structure of the agriculture industry should be adjusted. He mentions, there has been no negotiation like this, in which we always ask for zero tariff but we refuse to import products of the other side. Chen stresses that during the negotiation, the Taiwanese government will prevent threats and seize opportunities to make Taiwanese more agriculture competitive.

Chen says that whether or not the 830 banned Chinese agricultural products will be imported is still under negotiation. It is still unclear if benefits of agricultural products will be exchanged, or if these benefits will be exchanged with those of industrial products. This will be considered with the agro-industrial industries.

Liberty Times reports, Chen says that after Taiwan joins the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) or RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership), Taiwan’s agriculture would be the biggest victim. Through negotiation, he says, the Taiwan government will try hard to protect the rice industry and to gain benefits for other highly-competitive Taiwanese products such as orchids, pet fishes, edamame beans and so on.

Chen says that negotiations on agriculture give Taiwan a lot of opportunities. Thai edamame beans exported to China are not charged tariff, but Taiwanese ones are charged a 6% tariff while orchids are also charged a 12% tariff. However, after Taiwan joins the TPP, highly competitive local products will have more influence if there is no tariff. This may also show that Taiwan will be hurt if its industries are not adjusted along with the changing environment.

Translated by Wen-yee Lee
Edited by Olivia Yang