TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Food safety and the rights of local farmers are important considerations for determining whether to participate in international trade deals, Taiwan’s government stated Saturday in response to a U.S. report urging the country to fully open its market to U.S. beef and pork.
In the report by U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) released yesterday, the United States said it will continue to urge Taiwan to remove its ban on U.S. pork and beef products .
The 500-page report, which devoted eight pages to Taiwan, stated the nation’s agricultural policies as serious concerns, while noting the U.S. sees it as a key priority to keep pushing Taiwan to open its market fully to its beef and pork imports.
In response, Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said Saturday that the government would consider taking part in international trade deals under the premise that the nation’s food safety and the rights of the local farmers are protected.
The imports of U.S. beef and pork is a controversial issue in Taiwan-U.S. relations, as Taiwan has been insistent on barring meat products from the U.S. that contain traces of the leanness-enhancing veterinary drug ractopamine on account of its potential health hazards.
In terms of food management, the government will conduct risk assessments based on scientific evidence and international regulations, in order to ensure food safety in the country, said the spokesman, adding that the nation is keen to proceed further with the U.S. on bilateral trade cooperation.
The government will continue in its efforts to move toward constructing a win-win situation for both nations, said Huang.