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Economics minister warns about China-South Korea FTA

Focus Taiwan News Channel

Economics minister warns about China-South Korea FTA

By Huang Chiao-wen and Lilian Wu

1 December 2015

Taipei, Dec. 1 (CNA) Economics Minister John Deng (鄧振中) on Tuesday warned about the impact of a free trade agreement (FTA) between China and South Korea and expressed hope that a cross-Taiwan Strait trade-in-goods agreement can make major progress soon.

South Korea’s parliament ratified an FTA with China a day earlier, with both countries agreeing to implement it at the end of the year.

But Deng noted that the latest, or 12th, round of cross-strait talks on the trade-in-goods agreement failed to make any major progress late last month.

Deng said he hoped the cross-strait trade-in-goods pact could see a major breakthrough, but he added that this will not depend on Taiwan alone and will be down to the attitude of the other side, and whether the two sides can reach a point of balance on the items to be included.

Deng made the remarks at a seminar on the impact and challenges of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on Taiwan. The TPP is a trade bloc initiated by the United States that will account for around one-third of global trade.

According to an analysis of tariff cuts created by the FTA between China and South Korea, among South Korea’s exports of 8,194 agricultural and industrial products to China, 20.12 percent will see tariffs immediately cut to zero, mainly petrochemicals, textiles and garments, glass, medical care equipment and plastic processing machinery.

Five years after the agreement comes into effect, the zero-tariff items will have increased to 40.6 percent.