U.S. and Taiwan kickstart trade talks after five year break
Taipei, Taiwan (4E) – The U.S. and Taiwan resumed trade negotiations after a five-year hiatus as the island aims to take part of regional trade blocs.
The Trade and Investment Framework Agreement meeting began Sunday morning in Taipei where officials from both sides have not revealed the agenda of the meeting. Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis headed the American delegation, according to the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto U.S. embassy in Taiwan.
Taiwan’s vice economic affairs minister Cho Shih-chao is the island’s chief negotiator and he has reassured the influential local pig farmers on Saturday that pork would not be among the items that will be discussed in the one-day talks.
Swine farmers had been concerned that the Taiwanese government will bow to pressure from the U.S. and lift import ban on U.S. pork that contain the additive ractopamine — a drug used as ingredient in animal feed that make the meat leaner — in exchange for having the trade talks reopened.
The latest trade talks are seen to pave the way for a full free trade agreement, which had been in the back burner since 2007 when Taiwan imposed a ban on U.S. beef containing ractopamine. An amendment in the law was passed by Taipei in July 2007 allowing the resumption of beef importation.