Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday threatened to continue their boycott of the legislature’s plenary session if the Cabinet did not revoke its decision to raise electricity rates.
Such a boycott would mean that the Legislature would not be able to vote on a bill to allow imports of US beef containing residues of the leanness-enhancing drug ractopamine, DPP caucus whip Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) said.
“There is no room for retreat,” she said, indicating her party’s intention to stymie the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) efforts to pass the so-called “beef bill” if the DPP’s request on the electricity issue was ignored.
KMT caucus whip Hsu Yao-chang (徐耀昌) asked the opposition party to show restraint.
“It is irrational to boycott the meeting,” he said, adding he would continue to negotiate with the DPP caucus on the issue.
Lawmakers are scheduled to vote on Tuesday on amendments to the Act Governing Food Sanitation (食品衛生管理法), which President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration have been pushing to ease the restrictions on US beef.
Ma said that Taiwan would not be able to join the global economic and trade system if it continued to lock out US beef imports.
Public health would not be sacrificed, since people would have the choice not to buy or eat US beef, Ma said in Chiayi.
However, if Taiwan refuses to open up to US beef imports, “how can they [the US] be convinced that we want trade liberalization?” he said.