The ruling Kuomintang is saying that the cross-strait trade in services agreement has already been reviewed by the legislature. That’s because it has exceeded the 3-month deadline for review which by default categorizes it as reviewed. But the opposition does not agree and has boycotted the agreement from being put on the legislative agenda.
Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Wang Yu-chi said that it would respect whatever result comes out of the legislative process.
The economics ministry said on Tuesday that the agreement will have a big impact on whether Taiwan can enter regional trade pacts such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Of the 12 members of that pact, 6 are China’s top trade partners while the other 5 are China’s secondary trading partners.
Vice economic minister Bill Cho said that Taiwan cannot afford to not approve the pact:
"If we are going to say ‘Sorry, I’m going to take back what I originally was planning to give you,’ we can’t do that. If we do that, the agreement will be invalid. We’d have to restart negotiations, and to be honest, our nation cannot afford this burden," said Cho.
Cho said that, globally, only the US dares to amend agreements. They did that with the FTA with South Korea but that was to open up more areas for free trade. That’s not the case with the trade in services agreement where the opposition wants to reduce areas of liberalization.