Three pieces of legislation must be passed and a complete list of meeting documents, the negotiators involved and categories to be liberalized must be disclosed before the Legislative Yuan begins its screening of the cross-strait service trade agreement, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers said yesterday.
“The entire process of the agreement — from the first day of negotiations to the day the pact’s contents were announced — has been opaque and undemocratic. The people of Taiwan have been unable to learn about and assess the potential impact of the deal on the economy and industrial development,” DPP lawmakers Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君), Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) and Lin Shu-fen (林淑芬) told a press conference.
They said that three bills must be passed before the legislature’s screening process begins. First, a statute to regulate all agreements and treaties made between Taiwan and China; second, a bill to regulate incoming Chinese investment; and a third bill to institutionalize the impact assessment review of free trade.
The proposed draft statute governing agreements and treaties between Taiwan and China has been blocked by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), Cheng said.
While all foreign investment is regulated by the Statute for Investment by Foreign Nationals (外國人投資條例), no similar piece of legislation about the regulation of Chinese investment has been introduced, the lawmaker said.
However, the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Investment Commission, which is currently in charge of reviewing Chinese investment, would be demoted to a division under the ministry’s bureau of economic development if the government reform and its effects begin to raise concerns, she said.
Additionally, legislation regarding the impact assessment review would be necessary for the government to assess the employment situation as well as how local industries would be affected by Taiwan’s efforts to promote free trade and regional economic integration, Cheng said.
The lawmakers said they supported a scheduled protest on Sunday against the handling of service trade agreement negotiations by President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration.