Taiwan and China Make Progress in Trade Pact Talks

From Associated Press:

Taiwan and have agreed on the structure and content for a landmark deal that could bring about the closest relations between the longtime rivals since their split amid in 1949.

The Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement — ECFA — is the centerpiece of Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou’s ambitious mainland engagement program, which has already reduced tensions across the 100-mile- (160-kilometer-) wide Taiwan Strait to their lowest level since the sides split amid civil war in 1949.

In his two years in office, Ma has turned the corner on his predecessor’s pro-independence policies, amid a welter of commercial accords, including the resumption of regular air and maritime service and the liberalization of cross-strait investment protocols.

From China Daily:

Tang Wei, director of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan affairs under the and head of the mainland delegation, said that under the “early harvest list”, some 500 Taiwan petrochemical, machinery, auto parts and textile products will be among the first to benefit from tariff reductions under the ECFA.

Meanwhile, 200 mainland products on the “early harvest list” will also benefit from tariff reductions.

Earlier reports from Taiwan said the tariff reductions on petrochemical products could be around 60 percent and 80 percent for . Together all the items on the initial list put forward for reductions, which has been named the “early harvest list”, account for some 15 percent of Taiwan’s exports to the mainland.

Huang did not confirm when the ECFA would officially be signed, but said the ECFA will take effect after both sides “finish the necessary procedures”.

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