Bill approved to set up fund to help industries affected by free-trade deals


TAIPEI–The Legislative Yuan approved a bill Tuesday aimed at coping with the disruptive effects of trade liberalization by mandating that a government fund be established to provide assistance and guidance to industries affected by free-trade deals. Under the measure, the Executive Yuan will be required to set up a fund to ensure that the government has the financial resources it needs to help industries and enterprises adjust to challenges created by more open markets.

The regulation stipulates that the money drawn from the fund should be used to help affected industries and enterprises set plans to develop their businesses and make the necessary transitions in the face of trade liberalization and give them financial support.

The Ministry of Labor should also provide support to enterprises and employees who suffer from the opening up of the domestic market to foreign companies.

Taiwan has not concluded many bilateral or multilateral free trade agreements but hopes to join the United States-led Trans Pacific Partnership and the mainland China-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

It is also eyeing a trade-in-goods agreement with China, although support in Taiwan for any form of free trade with China is limited. A trade-in-services agreement signed in June 2013 has never been ratified by the Legislature and triggered a student-led occupation of the lawmaking body in March 2014.