Give and take required for liberalizing: industry head



TAIPEI–Taiwan needs to be ready to “give” if it wants to participate in economic trade blocs, the head of an industrial group urged Saturday.

“There’s no such thing as a free lunch,” said Tsai Lien-sheng, secretary general of the Taipei-based Chinese National Federation of Industries, emphasizing the “give” part of give-and-take negotiations.

Trade liberalization is necessary to catch up, he said, citing a 10 percent decline in machinery exports to the United States since the South Korea-U.S. free trade agreement took effect.

Taiwanese society has been gripped by the dispute over a trade-in-services agreement with China, which has opened the doors to a bigger debate on free trade in general as well as Taiwan’s relationship with its massive neighbor.