US looks to boost Taiwan economic ties after it lifts import barriers

Taiwan president says relaxing import controls will pave way to bilateral trade deal with US

Citizen shops for pork products at supermarket

Citizen shops for pork products at supermarket (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The U.S. applauded Taiwan’s decision to further open its market and allow the import of American beef and pork products, which took effect on Friday (Jan. 1) despite criticism from opposition parties.

“Taiwan’s removal of barriers to U.S. beef and pork imports is a welcomed step and great news for American farmers,” tweeted the U.S. White House National Security Council on Saturday (Jan. 2). “We look forward to further strengthening U.S.-Taiwan economic ties in 2021!”

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) announced at the end of August that Taiwan will relax import restrictions on American beef and pork products at the beginning of 2021 to pave the way for a bilateral trade deal. The country will allow imports of pork containing ractopamine and beef from calves over 30 months of age.

“With utmost humility, I ask my fellow citizens for your understanding, and hope everyone knows that we thought long and hard before making this decision,” said Tsai at the Presidential Office on Friday. “This issue was left pending by three successive administrations, so there was no way to avoid it.”

“We have to think long-term, and go step by step, because the future holds even more challenges for our national development,” commented Tsai. She added the country depends on trade to survive and that she is building a sustainable future for Taiwan.

Updated : 2021-01-18 16:30 GMT+08:00