December 2003: Taiwan bans imports of US beef following the first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, also known as mad cow disease, in the US.
April 2005: Taiwan resumes imports of boneless US beef from cattle under 30 months old.
June 2005:Taiwan blocks US beef again following a second reported case of mad cow disease in the US.
October 2009: Taiwan signs an agreement with the US and opens the door to bone-in beef, ground beef and other products from cattle under 30 months old. The move stirs protests from the public and the legislature.
December 2009: The legislature revises a food act and bans the import of certain beef products from countries with documented mad cow disease cases over the past decade. This effectively halts imports of ground beef and internal organs from the US. Washington accuses Taiwan of violating the protocol and says the partial ban will affect arms sales and talks on a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) between the two sides.
August 2010: A campaign for a referendum on the government’s decision to import bone-in beef from the US fails.
January 2011: US beef products containing residues of ractopamine, a leanness-enhancing drug banned in Taiwan, are pulled from shelves, upsetting the US. Talks on the TIFA, which were scheduled to resume after a three-year hiatus, come to a halt.
July 2011: Taiwan maintains its ban on ractopamine. The US expresses disappointment.
February 2012: American Institute in Taiwan Chairman Raymond Burghardt presses Taiwan on the US beef issue when meeting with President Ma Ying-jeou. Ma promises fresh measures after the new Cabinet takes office.