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Taiwan-US trade talks possible in December, but no delay for pork imports

US trade policies are continuous and unlikely to change once Biden takes charge

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The MOEA has not confirmed reports it will send a deputy minister to the U.S. for trade talks next month.

The MOEA has not confirmed reports it will send a deputy minister to the U.S. for trade talks next month. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A deputy minister at the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) might travel to the United States in December to conduct trade talks, but a postponement of the Jan. 1 opening of the Taiwanese market to U.S. pork containing ractopamine residues was not in the cards, reports said Monday (Nov. 9).

MOEA Vice Minister Chen Chern-chyi (陳正祺) earlier expressed the hope that bilateral talks could start before the end of the year, CNA reported, but the ministry has not commented on any planned trips, saying it would announce the fact if there were such developments.

If Chen visited the U.S., other senior government members such as the foreign and economics ministers would join in the discussions by video-conference.

In September, Taiwan received the unprecedented visit of Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Keith Krach.

While the official reason for his trip was to pay his respects to late President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), it was also widely seen as a significant step in the direction of official trade discussions.

Last week’s election of Democratic Party candidate Joe Biden has fueled questions in Taiwan about the government’s decision to allow the import of U.S. pork with the leanness drug ractopamine beginning Jan. 1.

While the opposition has mounted a campaign for a referendum on the subject, Taiwan government officials on Monday emphasized the continuity of trade policies, trying to dispel expectations that the new Biden Administration might overturn the pork liberalization demands, CNA reported.