Government reiterates ban on US pork as pressure mounts
CNATAIPEI, Taiwan -- The government yesterday reaffirmed its stance to keep the ban on U.S. pork containing a muscle-growth drug, in response to Washington's newly published report that indicated the United States will continue to pressure Taiwan to lift the ban.
March 17, 2013, 12:31 am TWN
Council of Agriculture Secretary-General Tai Yu-yen said that the government will maintain its separate policies on imports of U.S. beef and pork, and will not let U.S. pork containing residues of the feed additive ractopamine to be imported to Taiwan.
Taiwan lifted the ban on U.S. beef containing ractopamine in early 2012 as a prerequisite for Washington agreeing to restart the long-stalled Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) talks between the two sides.
But the Taiwanese government has stressed time and again it will not lift the ban on U.S. pork containing ractopamine, to protect the health of the public and the rights of domestic hog farmers.
Tai's remarks came after the White House published its annual “Economic Report of the President” Friday that showed it will continue to make reducing trade barriers on agricultural products with trading partners its top priority.
“The Obama Administration has made reducing trade barriers to market access overseas for U.S. farmers and ranchers a top priority, alongside efforts to ensure that America's trading partners fully honor all the commitments they have made under existing trade agreements,” the report said.
But the latest round of TIFA talks, held March 10 in Taiwan, has sparked concerns that the U.S. will continue to pressure Taiwan to lift its ban on U.S. pork containing the feed additive.
The TIFA was signed in 1994 as a framework for Taiwan-U.S. dialogue on trade-related issues in the absence of official diplomatic ties, but talks have been suspended since 2007, largely due to the controversy over U.S. beef imports.