USDA, USTR Concerned About Taiwanese Beef Barriers

The Agriculture Department and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative are concerned that amendments to a Taiwanese Food Sanitation Act could bar imports of U.S. beef products to Taiwan and abrogate an October agreement that opened the Taiwanese market to U.S. beef imports.

“If passed, this amendment would represent a new barrier to U.S. beef exports to Taiwan, and would constitute a unilateral abrogation of a bilateral agreement concluded in good faith by the United States with Taiwan just two months ago,” Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis and Undersecretary for Farm and Agricultural Services Jim Miller said in a statement Tuesday.

Marantis and Miller said they were deeply concerned and disappointed that Taiwan’s legislative body had taken initial steps toward passage of the amendment. They said the proposed amendment has no basis in science or fact and does not serve to protect Taiwan’s food supply.

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Marantis and Miller said that Taiwanese legislators should carefully consider the impact that passage of the amendment would have on Taiwan’s reputation as a reliable trading partner and responsible member of the international community.

The release said the United States has implemented a comprehensive set of measures sanctioned by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) to minimize the risk of “mad cow” disease. USTR and USDA said that the United States has provided all the information necessary for Taiwan to evaluate the U.S. safety measures and that all information has underscored the safety of relevant U.S. beef and beef products.


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