US beef exports valued at more than US$1.7 billion last year will resume in a matter of weeks after Japan agreed to ease a 10-month ban on the meat prompted by a lone case of mad cow disease in Washington state. \nJapan will allow beef imports from cattle under 20 months old, US Department of Agriculture Undersecretary J. B. Penn said in Tokyo after three days of talks between the two countries. Full beef trade may resume after a review in July, he said. US officials are heading to South Korea and Taiwan today for negotiations on reopening those markets. \nJapan, the biggest overseas customer for US beef, and more than 40 other nations suspended imports of the meat in December last year after the government announced the first case of mad cow disease in US history. The import bans threatened more than US$3.8 billion in annual US exports and eroded profit for beef producers such as Tyson Foods Inc and Cargill Inc. \n"This agreement is kind of the gateway to all the other markets that haven't opened yet," said Gregg Doud, an economist with the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. \nDoud said he expects Korea, the third-biggest overseas buyer of US beef with more than US$500 million of purchases last year, to resume imports once Japanese shipments begin. "The Koreans have signaled for some time that they were waiting on the US and Japan," he said. \nCattle futures in Chicago plunged 12 percent between Dec. 23 last year, when the US disclosed its mad cow case, and Feb. 4 this year, when prices closed at 71.375 cents a pound, the lowest this year. Since then futures have gained 23 percent on strong domestic demand for beef, fueled by the popularity of high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets. \nYesterday, cattle for December delivery finished at 88.025 cents a pound, up 1.2 percent from a year ago. \n"We're talking here a matter of weeks" before Japan begins importing some US beef, Penn said. "We are very eager to once again be able supply high-quality, safe beef products to Japanese consumers." Beef trade may expand once procedures for confirming the age of cattle that qualify for import are reviewed with participation from the US, Japan and World Health Organization and other experts in July next year, Penn said. \nUnder the agreement, Japan will also be allowed to resume beef exports to the US from cattle under 20 months old. The US banned beef from Japan after that country found the first of more than a dozen cases of mad cow disease in September 2001. \nJapan had been shipping between 70 tonnes and 100 tonnes of beef, mostly premium Kobe beef, annually before the ban. \nJapan purchased more than US$1.7 billion worth of beef and beef products last year, according to a statement today from the US Department of Agriculture. The US Meat Export Federation put the figure at US$1.5 billion. \nUntil now, Mexico, the second-biggest buyer of the meat, had been the only major US trading partner to resume purchases. \nTaiwan, the sixth-largest buyer of US beef, is also expected to reopen its markets shortly, said Lynn Heinze, a spokesman for the Denver-based US Meat Export Federation. \nTaiwanese officials completed a review of US safety standards last week and the island nation expects to host a technical team from the US in the next few weeks, he said. \n"Taiwan looks pretty good," Heinze said.
SAFETY RISK: The government is working to categorize countries based on their COVID-19 cases and prevention efforts, which would determine quarantine periods The government plans to rank countries based on their COVID-19 risks to determine how to treat tourists and other travelers from those nations once Taiwan reopens its borders, but it is still working out the categories, a top health official told lawmakers yesterday. “We would divide countries around the world into several categories. One category would comprise those countries with very few confirmed COVID-19 cases, such as New Zealand and Palau. Travelers from the countries in this category would only need to practice self-health management,” Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told a Legislative Yuan seminar hosted by
China would attack Taiwan if there is no other way of stopping it from becoming independent, Chinese General Li Zuocheng (李作成) said yesterday. Speaking at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on the 15th anniversary of China’s “Anti-Secession” Law, Li, who is chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Central Military Commission, left the door open to using force. The 2005 law is China’s legislative basis for military action against Taiwan. “If the possibility for peaceful reunification is lost, the people’s armed forces will, with the whole nation, including the people of Taiwan, take all necessary steps to
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
CASH BOOST: Foreign spouses with residency permits are also eligible for the coupons, which can be bought at post offices or linked to digital payment options Stimulus coupons for Taiwanese and foreign spouses with residency permits can be ordered starting on July 1 and can be used from July 15 to Dec. 31, the Executive Yuan said yesterday. Aimed at boosting domestic spending, the coupons worth NT$3,000 (US$100.04) are to cost NT$1,000. “For our consumers, this is a very good deal as they get three times as much value for their money,” Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told a news conference in Taipei. While the coupons are to have a wide range of uses, including at department stores, restaurants, book stores, night markets, beauty and hair salons, hotels, and to