DOHA, Qatar - U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick today hailed the unanimous decision of trade ministers attending the Ministerial in Doha to admit Taiwan into the World Trade Organization (WTO). Taiwan, one of the United States' largest trading partners, joins the People's Republic of China this week in concluding agreement with the more than 140 members of the WTO. Taiwan had been negotiating the terms of its entry for almost nine years.
"The United States is delighted to welcome Taiwan into the WTO," said Zoellick. "The membership of Taiwan, the world's 16th largest economy, will strengthen the multilateral trading system. It is a proper recognition of the achievements of Taiwan's people in building one of the world's strongest, most dynamic economies over the past few decades. Taiwan has accomplished this while transforming its political system into a vibrant democracy that has earned admiration in the United States and abroad."
Taiwan has agreed to open its market to agricultural products, such as rice, pork and variety meats, that had previously been subject to import bans. U.S. service providers, in particular in the telecommunications and financial services sectors, also will benefit from Taiwan's membership in the WTO.
Taiwan, referred to as "Chinese Taipei" under the terms of its admission to the WTO, must next complete its own domestic review of the accession terms and submit notice of its acceptance to the WTO. Thirty days later, Taiwan will become a WTO member.