Sat, May 21, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Vincent Siew urges Taiwan-US TIFA talks to be resumed

Staff Writer, with CNA, NEW YORK

Vice President Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) urged the US to resume trade talks with Taiwan that have been derailed by disagreements over the safety of US beef in New York on Thursday.

“Taiwan and the US have long enjoyed a solid relationship and Taiwan hopes to see the speedy resumption of negotiations on the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement [TIFA],” Siew said at a dinner party, that was also attended by American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman Raymond Burghardt.

The AIT represents US interests in Taiwan in the absence of official diplomatic ties.

The two countries have not held any TIFA talks since 2007 because of US dissatisfaction with a Taiwanese ban on US beef imports over mad cow disease concerns.

Tensions were reignited in January when Taiwan blocked a shipment of US beef found to contain ractopamine.

Ractopamine is a feed additive banned locally, but allowed in minimal amounts in the US and other countries, such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

The TIFA, signed in September 1994, provides an official framework for Taiwan-US dialogue on trade and economic issues.

In New York on a stopover on his way back to Taiwan after wrapping up his visit to Paraguay and Panama, Siew also expressed hope that there would be some progress on the signing of an extradition agreement and on the inclusion of Taiwan in the US’ visa-waiver program.

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