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Taiwan easing rules on US pork, beef imports


Taiwan's economy is highly dependent on foreign trade. To become a key player in the restructuring of the global supply chain, it must forge closer relations with other world economies, especially the largest of all, the United States. In consideration of Taiwan's trade interests and overall economic strategy, therefore, President Tsai Ing-wen announced August 28, 2020 that Taiwan will permit imports of U.S. pork containing ractopamine and U.S. beef from cattle over 30 months old, beginning January 2021. A complementary set of measures will be put into place to safeguard the nation's health while protecting the incomes of hog farmers, including the establishment of feed additive residue limits based on scientific evidence and international standards.

This crucial step in resolving years of indecision over U.S. pork and beef imports is expected to deepen Taiwan-U.S. trade relations and bolster Taiwan's case for joining regional trade blocs like the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. Taiwan will also have opportunities for closer trade relations with other countries and expand its international space for economic and trade growth.

Complementary measures

Ensure food safety, protect the nation's health:
The government will step up customs and quarantine inspections of imported meat products, help businesses with clear country-of-origin labeling on meat and processed meat products, and conduct more audits and random inspections. Maximum residue limits (MRLs) of ractopamine in pork have been established, while a ban has been placed on imports of high-risk beef parts including skulls, brains and eyes.

Establish a NT$10 billion (US$341.6 million) industrial fund, make the pork industry more competitive:
To protect incomes for hog farmers, the government will regulate sources and diversify sales channels to maintain domestic pig auction prices within a reasonable range. A budget of NT$2.4 billion (US$82 million) will be set aside annually to accelerate the restructuring of the pig farming industry while improving business efficiency, the industry's image, and agricultural worker incomes. Subsidies on compulsory mortality insurance for pigs will be available to help farmers lower business risks. Pig farms and slaughterhouses will receive guidance on modernizing and upgrading their facilities in order to meet HACCP (hazard analysis and critical control point) certification standards and reach more international export markets.

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