Second Meeting of Bipartisan Council on Seoul-Beijing FTA Held Friday

Write : 2015-11-20 18:49:47 Update : 2015-11-20 19:46:52

Second Meeting of Bipartisan Council on Seoul-Beijing FTA Held Friday

A three-way consultation body, consisting of the rival parties and government to discuss ratifying the South Korea-China free trade agreement, held its second general meeting on Friday.

Talks resumed on the key points of contention but the meeting ended without bridging differences in partisan views.

Ruling Saenuri Party chief policymaker Kim Jung-hoon who is joint chair of the China FTA consultation body said at the start of the Friday meeting that the time of effectuation is as important as the content of the deal. Kim expressed hope that progress can be swiftly made.

Kim's counterpart of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD) Choi Jae-cheon, who jointly chairs the FTA task force, meanwhile said that his party proposed additional negotiations on the trade deal and measures to ease losses suffered by Korean industries.

Choi said he hopes that the government will come up with sincere measures.

In the closed-door meeting Friday, NPAD called for first drafting measures to complement not only the South Korea-China FTA but the FTA with the United States that is already in effect. 

But the government and ruling party are believed to have balked at the idea, citing an insufficient budget.

The government and ruling party also say it's difficult to accept key demands by the opposition including the sharing of trade profits with the agricultural sector. 

The bipartisan consultation body will be briefed by the government on Monday regarding the opposition's proposals. However, if differences still linger after the third meeting, ratifying the trade deal during next Thursday's National Assembly plenary session is expected to be difficult.

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