The United States, in an effort to soften the sting from recognition of the People's Republic of China, is proceeding with a bilateral treaty to extend the benefits of any multilateral trade agreement to Taiwan.
Officials, anxious for this fact to be known, said that a treaty to be signed in Washington next week will cover about $1 billion in trade between Taiwan and the U.S.
The treaty had been planned before the December 15 announcement of "normalization" of relations between the PRC and the U.S. "The significant thing." a high offical said "is that we're going ahead with it."
The new treaty will underscore the U.S. intention to maintain full commercial and trade relations with Taiwan, now its 10th largest U.S. trading partner, regardless of new understandings with China.
In effect, the U.S. and Taiwan will agree to apply to each other the concessions and benefits that a wider group of nations hopes to adopt at Geneva. Neither Taiwan nor China was among the negotiating nations at Geneva.
Tariff reductions agreed upon at Geneva, including levies on all major agricultural products, will apply between Taiwan and the U.S. on a reciprocal basis.
But officials said that even more important than the tariff concessions will be the mutual adoption of codes being worked out at Geneva to reduce non-tariff barriers. Major provisions are:
SUBSIDIES-This code will place limits on the subsidies that a nation can provide its own manufacturers, as well as limits on the counter-vailing duties that can be applied in retailed for subsidies.
GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT -New language is being written to assure that foreigners can hid on government procurement contracts.
CUSTOMS VALUATION-Rules are being drafted to make more uniform the way in which an importing country puts a value on goods when they reach their borders.
Ironically, However, the U.S. is also pursuing its intention to negotiate orderly marketing agreements (OMAs) with both Taiwan and Korea that would sharply reduce the volume of their color T.V. exports to the United States.
The new OMAs, according to the Office of the Special Trade Representative, are made necessary because both Taiwan and Korea have increased their color TV exports here minimizing the intended benefit to American TV manufacturers of the OMA on color TV sets with Japan.