The World Trade Organization (WTO), as the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade, was established in 1995 and currently has 164 members, which represent over 98% of international trade. Taiwan has been a member of the WTO since 2002.
The WTO's main activities include negotiating the reduction or elimination of obstacles to trade, agreeing among members on the rules governing the conduct of international trade, reviewing the trade policies of members in order to ensure the transparency of regional and bilateral trade agreements, and building the capacity of developing countries on international trade matters.
Taiwan and the WTO
A. Active Participation in WTO Negotiations
The government puts great emphasis on matters relating to the development of the multilateral trade system established by the WTO. Since its accession to the WTO in January 2002, Taiwan has been an active participant in the Doha rounds of multilateral negotiations. By utilizing the rules of the WTO, we have been able to eliminate trade barriers while strengthening trade and economic relations with other WTO Members. Taiwan is open-minded and willing to cooperate with other members to swiftly achieve consensus and thereby facilitate the modernization of WTO regulations.
B. Participation in WTO Accession Consultations with New Members
Since 2002, as prospective countries prepare to accede to the WTO, Taiwan has held separate bilateral negotiations with Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Libya, Liberia, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan and Algeria. The aim of these negotiations is to seek market access, tariff reductions, etc., which will allow and facilitate the expansion of Taiwanese businesses into their markets.
C. Participation in the WTO's Trade Policy Review
Being among the 20 largest international trading economies in the world, Taiwan's trade policies must be reviewed every five years according to the amendment of the WTO regulations. Likewise, Taiwan has actively participated in the TPR meetings of other members. By attending these TPR meetings, Taiwan has been able to grasp the trade policy directions of Members, thereby assisting our industries in expanding their international business opportunities.
D. Using WTO Mechanisms to Secure Taiwan's Interests and Benefits
When domestic businesses have complained about unfair treatment by other countries or been adversely affected by trade measures that might be in violation of WTO regulations, the government has initiated, after internal consultations with relevant authorities and legal professionals, several dispute settlement procedures under the WTO's Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes (DSU). Some examples are described below:
●In August 2008, Taiwan, together with the U.S. and Japan, jointly requested that a Panel be established by the WTO's Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) to investigate whether the EU and its Member States' collection of tariffs on flat-panel displays, set-top boxes and multifunctional digital machines was in violation of the General Agreement on Tariff and Trade (GATT 1994). The Panel was duly established in September 2008 and issued its Final Report in July 2010, ruling in favor of Taiwan, the U.S. and Japan.
●In June 2014, Taiwan requested consultations with Canada regarding its imposition of provisional and definitive anti-dumping measures on imports of certain carbon steel welded pipe (CSWP) from Taiwan. The panel issued its final report in December 2016, ruling in favor of Taiwan. The report was adopted by the DSB in January 2017. Canada amended its regulations concerning the calculation of de minimis dumping margins in the Special Import Measures Act on June 22, 2017 and terminated the anti-dumping duties levied on Taiwanese micro-dumping firms. It also amended the tax rate of other exporters in Taiwan (all other rates).
For more information please refer to our Permanent Mission to the WTO.