Give and take required for liberalizing: industry head

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CNA

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.