US official sees chances to restart TIFA talks: gov't
The China Post news staffThe United States has sent a strong signal that Washington and Taipei may revive talks on the bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) soon in light of positive progress concerning the U.S. beef issue.
June 4, 2012, 12:04 am TWN
The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) issued a statement late last night stating that Ambassador Ron Kirk, who heads the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), expressed the positive sentiment when meeting with MOEA Minister Shih Yen-shiang.
The two held a meeting in Kazan, Russia on Taiwan-U.S. trade and economic issues when attending the ministerial conference of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.
Kirk pointed out the undermining of mutual trust between the two sides due to the controversy over the level of residual ractopamine in U.S. beef products.
After Shih explained the latest developments on the U.S. beef issue in Taiwan, Kirk said that he expects a positive outcome of the beef issue will prompt the resumption of TIFA negotiations between Taiwan and the U.S.
The MOEA stated that the governmental policy of adopting international examination standards and establishing screening operations based on scientific measures and monitoring systems has encouraged the U.S. government to move forward with the TIFA talks.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) also released a statement acknowledging the recent developments and remarks made by officials.
The ministry expressed hope that Taipei and Washington will soon resume TIFA talks after the beef dispute is settled.
The MOFA said it hoped that the TIFA will serve as the foundation for the two sides to continue moving toward talks on a free trade agreement (FTA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement.
Analysts say that the government needs to let the public understand the truths concerning the relationship between the beef issue and the TIFA negotiations if it wishes to counter the resistance of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which had actively sought progress on the TIFA talks when in power, but has now stepped up efforts to block progress by making use of the beef trade controversy.