Tue, Mar 12, 2013 - Page 3 News List

TSU urges transparency in TIFA talks

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The government has failed to make information about the bilateral trade talks between Taiwan and the US transparent, the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) said yesterday as it reiterated its call for maintaining a ban US pork imports containing residues of the livestock feed additive ractopamine.

While the government said it had kept its pledge on maintaining the current ban on US pork in place during the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) negotiations that concluded on Sunday in Taipei, the TSU said the revised meeting schedule was suspicious.

The US delegation’s itinerary and meeting schedule were revised several times and kept from the public, TSU caucus whip Lin Shih-chia (林世嘉) said.

“If the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was firm on its position regarding US pork imports, I don’t see why the schedule and the content of the meeting should be kept private,” she said.

Neither the Ministry of Economic Affairs nor Ma publicly mentioned Taiwan’s opposition to relaxing the ban on US pork imports following the conclusion of the negotiation, Lin said.

More than 600,000 pig farmers in Taiwan create a total pork output value of about NT$60 billion (US$2 billion), Taiwan Rural Front spokeswoman Frida Tsai (蔡培慧) said.

Tsai called for transparency in the bilateral negotiations, so people could monitor the process.

Citizen Congress Watch executive director Chang Hung-lin (張宏林), warned Ma and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers against violating their pledges and making concessions in the negotiations, saying the betrayal would likely trigger a public outcry and a possible recall movement.

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