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UPDATE 1-El Salvador top court suspends scrapping of Taiwan trade accord

Updated: 14-03-2019 05:29 IST
UPDATE 1-El Salvador top court suspends scrapping of Taiwan trade accord

El Salvador's highest court on Wednesday temporarily suspended the cancellation of a free trade agreement with Taiwan, after the Central American nation's sugar industry filed a request for an injunction, arguing the move would hurt its business interests.

The United States in August criticized El Salvador's decision to ditch diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favor of China, saying the change was of grave concern to Washington. El Salvador's sugar chamber filed the request for the injunction with the country's highest court, saying the December decision by President Salvador Sanchez Ceren to cancel the trade agreement put the sector's property rights and legal security in jeopardy.

Sanchez Ceren's government order would have canceled the accord on March 15. The free trade agreement gives El Salvador an 80,000-tonne, tariff-free quota to export sugar to Taiwan. Officials from El Salvador's government were not immediately available to comment.

Political outsider Nayib Bukele was elected in February as El Salvador's next president, bringing an end to a two-party system that has held sway over the violence-plagued country for three decades. He will take office in June. (Reporting by Nelson Renteria Writing by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Leslie Adler)