The latest round of talks between Taiwan and the US under the bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) is scheduled for early next month, Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂) said yesterday.
“The talks are set to take place Oct. 1 in Taipei,” Lin said in response to a lawmaker’s questions during a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee.
Reiterating remarks by Minister of Economic Affairs John Deng (鄧振中) earlier this month, Lin said the issue of US pork imports would not be included on the formal agenda of the upcoming talks.
However, he did not rule out that the US might bring the issue up during the talks.
Although the US pork issue is not listed on the agenda for the talks, Deng has said that both sides have continued to communicate with each other on the issue, albeit on a small scale.
Taiwan maintains a ban on imports of US pork that contains traces of ractopamine, a leanness-enhancing drug that is banned in the nation.
It is understood that the US side wants to place the issue of access of its agricultural products to Taiwan as a top priority on the agenda, while Taiwan wants to discuss issues related to its bid to join the US-proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the inking of a bilateral investment agreement.
Taiwan previously prohibited imports of beef containing ractopamine, but lifted the ban in July 2012, setting the stage for the resumption of TIFA talks in March 2013. The talks, originally set to take place in April this year, were delayed because the US was focusing its trade negotiation efforts on issues such as finalizing negotiations on the TPP.
The TIFA was signed in 1994 as a framework for Taiwan-US dialogue on trade-related issues. The last talks were held in Washington in April last year.
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