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May 28, 2017

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AmCham White Paper may affect consumer protection policy: CF

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The unofficial White Paper issued by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) might affect Taiwan's policy to protect consumers, the Consumers' Foundation (CF) said yesterday.

According to the CF, the White Paper did consider the fact that the legal system in the United States affords more protection for consumers in the States compared to the level of protection that Taiwan's legal system affords consumers here.

The CF said that the White Paper mentioned that there are many areas in Taiwan that are regulated in order to protect consumers in recent years.

However, the White Paper said that the level of protection from those measures exceeds what is strictly necessary, which might affect many companies' decisions to invest in Taiwan.

According to the White Paper, Taiwan's Consumer Protection Law adopts the strictest standards in regulating corporations, which affects the balance between protections for consumers and suppliers.

The White Paper also said that the Consumer Protection Law does not bring any realistic benefits for consumers, and it might even damage the reputation of Taiwan's legal system.

The CF added, however, that in the United States, there are many examples of courts ruling in favor of consumers and demanding that companies pay extremely high compensation to consumers.

According to the CF, in the United States many attorneys are willing to help consumers sue companies, and consumers can ask the court to demand that companies pay their attorney fees if they win the lawsuits.

However, the CF said, in Taiwan many people are not willing to sue companies if they cannot afford to hire an attorney.

Chairman of the CF Chang Zhi-gang (張智剛) said that the White Paper issued by AmCham in 2013 also criticized Taiwan's Consumer Protection Law, which is unacceptable.

If AmCham targets Taiwan's Consumer Protection Law again next year, Chang said, the CF will not exclude the possibility of holding a press conference in front of the AmCham's building.

Chang also said that the National Development Council (NDC) published Amcham's White Paper on its official website and responded to the issues stated inside the White Paper. However, Chang said that the NDC completely ignored the questions proposed by Taiwan's consumer protection organizations, which is not the proper way for the NDC to handle important domestic issues.

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