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Taiwan will not address U.S. pork issue during TIFA talks

2015/09/24 19:23:15

Taipei, Sept. 24 (CNA) Taiwan will not address the issue of U.S. pork imports during the upcoming talks under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) between the two countries, Economics Minister John Deng (鄧振中) said Thursday.

U.S. pork imports will not be included among the issues Taiwan will bring up during the next round of TIFA talks, he said in response to reporters' questions on the meeting set for Oct. 1 in Taipei.

If the U.S. brings the issue up during the meeting, Taiwan will reiterate that it does not wish to discuss the matter at this time, Deng said.

Although U.S. pork imports will not be included in the agenda of the meeting, Deng has said earlier this month that both sides have continued to communicate with each other on the issue, albeit on a small scale.

It is understood that the U.S. side wants to place the issue of access of its agricultural products to Taiwan as a top priority on the agenda, while Taiwan wants to discuss issues related to its bid to join the U.S.-proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the inking of a bilateral investment agreement (BIA) between the two sides.

Taiwan previously prohibited imports of beef containing ractopamine, but lifted the ban in July 2012, setting the stage for the resumption of TIFA talks in March 2013. The talks, originally set to take place in April this year, were delayed because the U.S. was focusing its trade negotiation efforts on issues such as finalizing negotiations on the TPP.

The TIFA was signed in 1994 as a framework for Taiwan-U.S. dialogue on trade-related issues. The last TIFA talks were held in Washington in April 2014.

(By Huang Chiao-wen and Elaine Hou)