Rival parties seek to ratify FTA with China

Rival parties seek to ratify FTA with China

South Korea’s rival parties agreed Friday to try to ratify the country’s free trade deal with China during a full parliamentary session next week, the parties said.

Floor leaders of the ruling Saenuri Party and the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy said they agreed during a breakfast meeting to hold the main parliamentary session on Monday to discuss the ratification.

The meeting at a Seoul hotel was also attended by Finance Minister Choi Kyung-hwan.

The Free Trade Agreement was signed on June 1 and is now awaiting parliamentary approval in South Korea. But little progress has been made so far due to differences between the ruling and opposition parties. China has already finished all domestic procedures necessary to carry out the pact, according to sources in Beijing.

Also on Monday the parties will hold meetings of a consultative body involving rival political parties, the government and the National Assembly’s foreign affairs committee to discuss the ratification motion, they said.

The Saenuri wants to ratify the FTA by that date, saying related bills should be implemented by the end of the year to reap benefits from the tariff cut.

The NPAD, however, maintains that it is necessary to take supplementary measures to support industries who will suffer from the agreement, such as the agricultural sector, prior to the ratification. (Yonhap)


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