Lawmakers in Taiwan voted to ban some U.S. beef products, a move that reverses an agreement reached between the U.S. and Taiwan in October 2009.
After the agreement was reached and the ban was reversed this fall, protesters in Taiwan rallied against the move and political tensions about the issue grew within the country.
As reports of potential action by the legislature circulated, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis and USDA Undersecretary Jim Miller issued a joint statement saying, “The proposed amendment's provisions do not have a basis in science or fact and thus in no way serve to protect Taiwan's food supply. The Taiwan authorities should consider very carefully the impact that passage of the amendment in its current form would have on Taiwan's reputation as a reliable trading partner and responsible member of the international community."
The Obama Administration is expected to issue an additional statement today, according to news reports.
AMI President J. Patrick Boyle registered strong objections today. “In taking this action, the government of Taiwan clearly is failing to live up to its obligations under the bilateral agreement between our governments to expand beef trade,” he said. “U.S. beef is among the safest anywhere and data show a record of sustained food safety progress. There is simply no scientific basis for Taiwan’s action and at this point, we must question the seriousness of their commitment to being a reliable trading partner and member of the World Trade Organization.”
Taiwan bought $128 million in beef products from the U.S. in 2008.
Source: AMI – American Meat Institute