A trade agreement reached on Feb. 20 between the U.S. and Taiwan provides Georgia, the number one producing broiler state in the country, with a tremendous opportunity to enter a new market, according to Steve T. J. Chen, director of the commercial division of the Taipei Economic & Cultural Office in Atlanta.

      The agreement to immediately liberalize Taiwan’s previously closed markets for chickens and other meat products is part of a broader agreement with the U.S. leading to Taiwan’s membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO).

      Mr. Chen told GlobalFax during an interview in his midtown office that Georgia farmers  should seek to enter Taiwan’s newly opened markets for chicken and other meats as soon as possible.

      The agreement covers special access for 10,000 tons of U.S. chicken products worth almost $10 million.  Following accession, Taiwan agreed to remove all quantitative limits on chicken imports.

      Mr. Chen said that Taiwanese farmers were furious at the terms of the agreement, but the government opened their traditional markets had been opened as part of a broader economic development plan including WTO accession.

      The U.S. and Taiwan began the 17th round of negotiations on WTO accession in early February, negotiations which had continued for the past five years.  Taiwan is the U.S.’s seventh largest trading partner, and Georgia’s twelfth largest trading partner.

      The agreement commits Taiwan to reduce its industry products tariff rate to below 5%, with about two-thirds of the reductions to be made upon its admission to the WTO.  Taiwan also has agreed to completely open financial services, telecommunications and a number of other sectors in due course including law, accountancy, engineering, advertising, construction, and wholesale and retail distribution.

      Taiwan is now further along with its efforts to obtain WTO entry than China, which still has to reach an agreement with the U.S. and other country’s on market-access issues.  It must reach agreements with the European Union and Switzerland before it starts the process of negotiating other terms of its membership with a WTO working party.

      For more information, Mr. Chen may be reached by calling (404) 892-5095; fax, (404) 892-6555 or mailto: TWN Trade@aol.com