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China Times: Paying a hefty price on beef

China Times: Paying a hefty price on beef

Taiwan editorial abstract (File 3 of a daily roundup) The legislature has reached consensus on a draft law amendment based mainly on an opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) version to restrict certain beef imports from the United States, which will contravene a Taiwan-U.S. protocol signed in October.
The legislature naturally has the right to legislate, but this revision is an improper gesture in that it shows the legislature randomly dismissing an executive branch commitment to other countries.
Whether the revision truly reflects the public will is unknown, but it could be seen as an irresponsible and rash decision that could damage Taiwan's image internationally.
The question of the safety of imported U.S. beef should be left to scientific tests, not by a policy that panders to the populace. If local people do not want to eat U.S. beef, no-one can force them to buy it.
The government could also ask businesses that import and sell U.S. beef to mark the origin and tell of the perceived risks for the discretion of consumers.
The DPP's political confrontation is a political strategy and the legislators of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) should stick to their guns and defend the executive branch's decision rather than just trying to evade the issue or smooth things over.
Some might point out the executive branch's failure to communicate with the legislature before signing the agreement, and say that President Ma Ying-jeou, who doubles as KMT chairman, should take political responsibility.
However, it would be unjust to hold Ma responsible for everything. After all, the KMT enjoys an absolute majority in the legislature, so it is up to its legislators to take the initiative to defend the policy.





Updated : 2021-04-12 10:45 GMT+08:00