Taiwan reaffirmed its stance on sustaining its ban on US pork containing residues of the feed additive ractopamine, in response to a report recently published by the US saying that Washington will continue pressuring Taipei to lift the ban.
Council of Agriculture Secretary-General Tai Yu-yen (戴玉燕) over the weekend said that the government will maintain its separate policies on imports of US beef and pork, and will not allow US pork containing traces of ractopamine to be imported into Taiwan.
Taiwan eased restrictions on US beef with ractopamine residues early last year as a prerequisite for Washington to agree to restart the long-stalled Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) talks between the two sides.
However, the government has stressed time and again that it will not lift the ban on US pork imports to protect public health and the rights of pig farmers.
Tai’s remarks came after the White House published its annual Economic Report of the President on Friday, which said that reducing trade barriers on agricultural products with trading partners will remain a top priority this year.
“The [US President Brack] Obama Administration has made reducing trade barriers to market access overseas for US farmers and ranchers a top priority, alongside efforts to ensure that America’s trading partners fully honor all the commitments they have made under existing trade agreements,” the report said.
Despite the Taiwanese government’s assurances, the latest round of TIFA talks on March 10 have sparked concerns that Taiwan will cave to US pressure.
The TIFA was signed in 1994 as a framework for Taiwan-US dialogue on trade in the absence of formal diplomatic ties, but had been suspended since 2007 due mainly to the controversy over US beef imports.