KEY NATIONS BACK TAIWAN GATT BID IF TAIPEI ACCEPTS ESTABLISHED CODES

KEY NATIONS BACK TAIWAN GATT BID IF TAIPEI ACCEPTS ESTABLISHED CODES

The world's leading industrial powers said they were basing their support for Taiwan's entry to the global trade body on the precondition that it join as a developed nation and accepted all its codes.

Ke-Sheng Sheu, who headed the Taiwanese delegation to a new round of talks here examining its application for membership to the 111-member General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, told delegates Tuesday that Taiwan was "not prepared at this moment to sign the civil aircraft code upon our accession."The official said also that Taiwan would only consider entering into negotiations about joining GATT's procurement code "after our GATT accession."

In 1992, Taiwan which has a population of 20.6 million was the world's 12th-largest exporter with shipments worth $81 billion, and had foreign reserves at around $100 billion. Taiwan first applied to join GATT back in January 1990, but its application was held up because of opposition by China, which is also in the process of rejoining the trade body it left back in 1950, and did not want to be upstaged.

Besides linking their support to Taiwan signing the procurement and aviation codes, the United States, the European Community, Japan, and other industrial nations, said they viewed the dynamic Asian economy "as developed," and expected it to lock in those tariff cuts negotiated in the talks.

In the talks, Taiwan is calling for a special transition period from GATT coverage: for automobile imports, local content requirements to apply for five years in automobile and motorcycle industries.