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Legislative review of service trade agreement ruled out till March

Legislative review of service trade agreement ruled out till March

Taipei, Dec. 20 (CNA) Lawmakers of the ruling and opposition parties agreed Friday on the timing of the three last hearings to be held on Taiwan's service trade accord with China, effectively ruling out the possibility of a review of the agreement until next March at the earliest. Legislative Yuan President Wang Jin-pyng told reporters that a review of the trade in services agreement in the legislature will only take place after the last hearing has been held. In a consultation that morning, caucus leaders of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) and opposition parties settled on Jan. 2 and Jan. 13 as the dates of the next two hearings. They also agreed to have the last of a series of 16 hearings by March 10. Lawmakers had previously agreed to review the agreement signed with China in June after all the hearings have taken place, without setting actual dates for the individual meetings. The current legislative session was due to end later this month but in their consultation, the caucus leaders decided to extend the session until Jan. 14 before recessing for the Chinese New Year on Jan. 31. The next session is due to begin in February, after the week-long New Year holiday. Advocating the accord as a step toward economic liberalization, the government of President Ma Ying-jeou wants the legislature to approve the service trade agreement at an early date but has encountered strong resistance. The hearings were scheduled after the signing of the agreement, in response to concerns expressed by lawmakers as well as companies worried that their businesses will suffer once the agreement takes effect. The agreement will become effective only after legislative review and approval. (By Chen Wei-ting and Jay Chen)


Updated : 2021-10-21 23:14 GMT+08:00