The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday reiterated Taiwan’s stance on trade with the US, following a report by Washington on foreign trade barriers.
In the report dated April 1, the Office of the US Trade Representative said that despite Taiwan’s administrative measures in September last year that allowed imports of US beef containing ractopamine, the US “remains concerned about Taiwan’s other trade practices affecting US meat exports, including beef offal and pork.”
The ministry reiterated its stance on the livestock feed additive, saying that although Taiwan allows a maximum residue level of 10 parts per billion (ppb) of ractopamine in US beef imports, the nation maintains its zero tolerance policy on pork.
Jack Hsiao (蕭振寰), a negotiator from the ministry’s Office of Trade Negotiations, added that the government “will continue to communicate and clarify the situation with the US” with regard to the import of US beef offal.
According to the Act Governing Food Sanitation (食品衛生管理法), cattle brains, spines, eyes and offal, and ground beef, cannot be imported from places with mad cow disease cases in the pas 10 years, meaning those cuts cannot be imported from the US until 2022.
The report, titled The 2013 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers, also said that Taiwan’s move in September 2010 to implement a significant tax reduction on domestic rice wine raised concerns among the US and other trade partners.
It asked that Taiwanese authorities ensure that domestic rice wine will not compete with, or be a substitute for, imported alcoholic beverages and that imported alcoholic beverages should not be levied a higher tax rate than domestic products.
In response, the ministry said the government has repeatedly told the US that rice wine is usually used as a cooking ingredient in Taiwan and that it does not compete with imported products.
The ministry said that after Taiwan lowered the tax on rice wine, imports of alcoholic beverages grew for two years in a row.