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U.S. sees Taiwan as willing to resolve trade issues: envoy

2012/06/05 15:57:22

Washington, June 4 (CNA) The United States thinks President Ma Ying-jeou's administration has demonstrated the political will to resolve bilateral trade issues, Taiwan's representative to the United States Jason Yuan said Monday after a meeting of ranking officials from both countries.

The meeting took place between Taiwan's Economics Minister Shih Yen-shiang and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference in Kazan, Russia on Sunday.

Kirk told Shih that the U.S. hopes major trade talks with Taiwan will be resumed once the dispute over Taiwan's ban on U.S. beef containing ractopamine has been resolved.

In response, Shih said that Taiwan would adopt a four-point policy to address the issue.

Taiwan will establish an internationally accepted safety level for the drug in beef, deal separately with imports of beef and pork, enforce clear labeling of imported beef products and retain its ban on imports of beef organs, Shih said.

Yuan said the discussions showed political will in the part of Ma's administration to resolve trade issues with the U.S., particularly the ban on imports of U.S. beef containing the livestock leanness-enhancing ractopamine.

"The U.S. is encouraged by the development," Yuan said.

He noted that previously it was U.S. Deputy Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis who handled Taiwan affairs but this time Trade Representative Kirk met with Shih.

The meeting demonstrated the U.S.' commitment to Taiwan and sincerity on Taiwan's part, Yuan said.

He said the U.S. beef issue has become a politically sensitive matter that has affected relations between the two sides.

"Once the beef issue is resolved, we can proceed to deal with several other matters," Yuan said.

Talks between Taiwan and the U.S. under the 1994 bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement have been stalled since 2007 mainly because of U.S. dissatisfaction over Taiwan's beef import restrictions.

(By Tony Liao and Lilian Wu)
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