TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Council of Agriculture (COA) is mulling taking China to the World Trade Organization (WTO) for its ban on imports of grouper fish from Taiwan, reports said Saturday (June 11).
The general suspension of imports, announced Friday (June 10), violated international trade rules because only problematic items should be returned or destroyed, COA Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) said. China alleged it has found banned chemicals and excessive levels of other substances in grouper from Taiwan since December 2021.
After similar claims earlier this year, the COA had the fish tested but found no evidence of banned chemicals. While it will continue to pass on scientific research results to China, the COA said it would also consider filing a report about Beijing’s actions to the WTO Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Committee.
Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) called on the COA to stabilize the domestic market and to help grouper exporters diversify their markets, as Taiwan farmers targeted by Chinese fruit import bans had done before them, CNA reported.
Taiwan exported grouper fish to China and Hong Kong with a total value of NT$1.6 billion (US$53.94 million) in 2021. Kaohsiung City accounted for one half and Pingtung County for the other.