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US expert urges Taiwan to sign more trade pacts

TAIPEI--Taiwan should accelerate the pace of economic liberalization and sign more bilateral free trade agreements with other countries, local and foreign experts said at a symposium yesterday.

“It's a safer place to be,” said Claude Barfield, a former consultant for the United States Trade Representative, during a symposium on Taiwan-U.S.-Japan trilateral economic dialogue.

Describing the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement between Taiwan and China as a key one, Barfield said that Taiwan should also actively ink bilateral agreements with its other major trading partners to further protect itself.

In addition to the trade pact with China, Taiwan is currently negotiating free trade deals with Singapore and New Zealand, with the aim of participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership within eight years.

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