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June 23, 2017

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Cross-strait pact won't clear Legislature in this session: Lin

Kuomintang (KMT) lawmaker Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) said yesterday that the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement cannot be processed until after lawmakers are done with the cross-strait agreement supervisory act, meaning that it would be impossible for the service trade pact to clear the Legislature during the interim session.

President Ma Ying-jeou recently expressed the hope that lawmakers will place the supervisory act, the special act governing the Free Economic Pilot Zones (FEPZs) and the service trade pact on the docket for the interim session.

When asked to comment, Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) said that the supervisory act has yet to be submitted to the legislative committees.

Lawmakers across party lines as well as civic groups should be given the chance to go over the articles of the supervisory act and express their opinions, Tsai said.

If the KMT is willing to communicate with society and the opposition, then the supervisory act would be passed sooner rather than later, Tsai added.

Meanwhile, Lin explained that he never mentioned passing the supervisory act and the service trade pact during the interim session, adding that the duration of the interim session is very limited and committee meetings will only be convened on three days.

The president has said that the cross-strait pact should clear the Legislature during the interim session, Lin explained.

All he said was that the service trade pact and the FEPZs are very important, the lawmaker said, adding that the government hopes to see these bills passed in order to facilitate economic development.

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