Ma aims to settle US beef import row to spur on TIFA, TPP talks
The China Post news staffThe China Post news staff--The United States has given a new and strong signal that Washington and Taipei may revive talks on the bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) soon in view of the positive progress concerning the U.S. beef issue.
June 23, 2012, 12:14 am TWN
President Ma Ying-jeou expressed determination to settle the dispute over imports of U.S. beef to pave the way for resuming TIFA talks and open dialogue on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) pact with the U.S.
The president made the remarks yesterday at the Presidential Office while receiving James Jones, a former U.S. national security adviser who served in the Obama administration between January 2009 and October 2010.
Ma said that his administration will try its best to solve the controversy concerning imports of American beef products.
The government is taking a stand to allow safe levels of the leanness-enhancing drug ractopamine in beef as adopted by many nations, while taking auxiliary measures to safeguard public health in the hope of eliminating the trade barrier that has stalled the resumption of major trade talks between Taipei and Washington.
Ma said he hopes that “the dispute over imports of U.S. beef containing traces of ractopamine can be resolved soon so that bilateral trade relations can enter a new phase.”
The president also said he hopes Taiwan can enter the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a multiple free trade agreement designed to further liberalize trade in the Asian-Pacific region, within eight years.
“The resumption of talks under TIFA is the basis of the goal toward which we are moving, and we will continue to work in this direction,” the president said.
The Ma administration had been hoping that legislators would vote on a bill to allow imports of U.S. beef containing ractopamine during the session that ended June 15.
But a boycott by the opposition parties led by the Democratic Progressive Party brought the Legislative Yuan to a standstill without the vote being held.
The DPP argues that allowing beef imports containing traces of chemical additives will pose as a health risk for people in Taiwan.