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Lead envoy to Washington on beef issue still uncertain

Lead envoy to Washington on beef issue still uncertain

Taipei, Dec. 31 (CNA) The government has yet to decide who will lead the team that President Ma Ying-jeou will send to Washington to mitigate the fallout from the controversy over U.S. beef imports, the Executive Yuan secretary-general said Thursday.
Lin Join-sane stressed, however, that the message the delegation will deliver to U.S. officials and its bottom line will be carefully worked out beforehand.
"The team will not depart without carefully thinking through the situation, " he said, an indirect reference to criticism that the administration was poorly prepared when it signed a protocol with the U.S. in October that lifted previous bans on U.S. bone-in beef and beef products.
The administration has stepped up fence-mending efforts after the Legislative Yuan declined to endorse the protocol. It reached a consensus Tuesday to amend the Act Governing Food Sanitation in a way that would restrict U.S. beef imports, a move that has already drawn a stern rebuke from Washington.
Both the administration and the private sector plan to organize delegations to visit Washington and drive home their stances.
Ma agreed Wednesday that things would have turned out much better if relevant government agencies had communicated more closely with the Legislature before Taiwan signed the beef protocol with the U.S.
in October.
Lin said members of the government's delegation will try their utmost to explain Taiwan's stance to minimize the impact of the beef controversy on U.S.-Taiwan relations.
He speculated that the U.S. might even come to understand the situation as the result of Taiwan's sincere communications and might not take any retaliatory steps against Taiwan.
"It's all up to how hard we try," he noted.
(By Kelven Huang and Deborah Kuo)




Updated : 2021-08-04 05:18 GMT+08:00