Taiwan, United States Fail To Agree On Wine, Cigarette Imports
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) _ Another round of negotiations over further opening of Taiwan’s markets to imports of U.S. wine and cigarettes has ended without agreement, a senior Taiwanese trade official reported Monday.
″We did not reach an agreement as expected earlier, but we are still looking for a reasonable way to resolve our differences,″ Vincent Siew, director general of the Board of Foreign Trade, told a news conference on his return from Washington.
The negotiations, which ended last Tuesday, were the fourth round of such talks since Taiwan committed itself last October to further open its market within a year to imports of U.S. cigarettes and wine.
The United States had said it would take retaliatory trade measures if Taiwan failed to open its market for those products before this month.
Siew said no new round of talks had been scheduled to settle differences, centering mainly on the pricing and advertising of U.S. cigarettes in Taiwan.
He said his government had not decided on whether Taiwan would make any new concessions, but hoped the United States would refrain from taking retaliatory measures
″We have made the best possible concessions over the last round of talks,″ Siew said. ″The point is that we cannot encourage sales of any products hazardous to health.″
Sandra Christoff, a senior official of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, led the U.S. delegation during the nine days of talks in Washington.
The negotiations were aimed at helping reduce Taiwan’s $10 billion trade surplus with the United States, Taiwan’s largest trading partner.
The two nations also failed to reach agreement in negotiations over the U.S. request for Taiwan to impose voluntary restraints on machine tool exports over the next five years.
However, U.S. officials agreed not to ask further restrictions on Taiwan’s steel exports, Siew said. Taiwan restricted steel exports to the United States to 360,000 tons this year. Its exports last year reached 210,000 tons.