U.S. officials oppose beef ban

BEIJING, China (AP) — The Office of the United States Trade Representative and the U.S. Department of Agriculture has released a statement regarding the decision by Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan to bar import of some U.S. beef and beef products.

The following statement is from Deputy United States Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis and Undersecretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Jim Miller:

“We are deeply disappointed with the decision by Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan to amend the Food Sanitation Act (FSA) to unjustifiably bar the import of certain U.S. beef and beef products.

“As we noted in our statement on December 29, the FSA amendment’s provisions do not have a basis in science and constitute a unilateral violation of a bilateral agreement concluded in good faith by the United States with Taiwan a little over two months ago. The protocol was negotiated on the basis of the guidelines laid out by the World Organization for Animal Health (the OIE), as well as the findings of Taiwan’s own risk assessment, which concluded that all U.S. beef and beef products are safe.

“The decision by Taiwan authorities to place domestic politics over science raises serious concerns. This action will also undermine Taiwan’s credibility as a responsible trading partner and will make it more challenging for us to conclude future agreements to expand and strengthen bilateral trade and economic ties.

“The decision to violate our bilateral agreement is particularly disappointing, as the United States has long been one of Taiwan’s most important trade and investment partners, as well as the strongest supporter of Taiwan’s active participation in the global trading system, including its membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO). In light of the continuing importance of our bilateral economic relationship, we urge Taiwan to honor its commitments and to implement the beef protocol as negotiated.”

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