LOST IN THE SHUFFLE:Labor groups said that the government was ‘railroading’ the ‘secretive’ talks through, and that the agreement would likely hurt consumers
Date: Oct 02, 2015
By: Abraham Gerber / Staff reporter
The latest round of Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) talks with the US
ignores the interests of ordinary citizens, labor activists said yesterday.
Campaigners from the Taiwan Free Trade Investigation, the People’s Supervisory Alliance (人民監督雜碎聯盟) and other groups protested outside of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the site of yesterday’s talks.
The talks were the ninth round of TIFA talks, aimed at filling out the framework, which was signed in 1994.
The ministry earlier this week said that it would use the platform to express Taiwan’s desire to join the Tran-Pacific Partnership (TPP) being negotiated among Pacific Rim states.
Taiwan Free Trade Investigation member Lee Yuan-chun (李援軍) said that while TIFA talks were aimed at “kickstarting” Taiwan’s bid to join the TPP, the results of past free-trade accords suggest that corporations would benefit at the expense of average citizens. While activists were not opposed to trade agreements, any negotiations should be conducted from the standpoint of furthering the interests of ordinary people, he said. [FULL STORY]