Taiwan looks to set a safety level on ractopamine
At the end of August, Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen announced her country is ready to set a "safety tolerance" level for ractopamine residue in imported pork based on scientific evidence and international standards, on the precondition that the public's health is protected. Taiwan will also open its market to U.S. beef from cattle aged over 30 months, which has been barred because of fears of mad-cow disease. Both measures can increase the presence of US red meat exporters in Taiwan and may pave the way for a trade agreement between the US and Taiwan.
"This is a decision that was made based on national economic interests and is in line with future comprehensive strategic objectives", Tsai said in a press conference, according to Focus Taiwan. Issues concerning American beef and pork imports have been barriers to trade between Taiwan and the US as far back as the mid-2000s, with Washington using the issues to block discussions on investment and trade and possible talk of a free trade agreement with Taipei.
Late last year, 161 members of the US House of Representatives urged the government to restart negotiations on forging bilateral trade links with Taiwan. In a letter in February responding to the appeal, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said that for the goal to be achieved, "existing trade barriers" should be removed first, referring to Taiwan's restrictions on imports of certain US beef and pork products.
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