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U.S. to monitor beef exports to Taiwan: official

2012/07/26 13:33:48

Washington, July 25 (CNA) The United States will monitor Taiwan's implementation of action needed to allow the resumption of expanded U.S. beef imports after its Legislature passed a bill to lift a ban on beef imports containing the leanness-enhancing drug ractopamine, an official of the Office of the United States Trade Representative said Wednesday.

"We look forward to the quick implementation of the maximum residue level for ractompamine and the resumption of expanded access for American beef in Taiwan," the U.S. official said

But the official declined to comment at length about any resumption of long-stalled talks under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) , which have been hampered due to the U.S. beef dispute.

The official said only that the U.S. "will be consulting with stakeholders and with Taiwan counterparts on concrete next steps to revitalize our bilateral trade relationship."

Taiwan's representative office has asked the U.S. to resume the talks now that the beef hurdle has been cleared.

The Legislature passed an amendment to the Act Governing Food Sanitation Wednesday Taiwan time, opening the way for imports of American beef containing ractopamine, which is currently banned in Taiwan.

The amendment allows the Taiwanese authorities to set maximum residue limits (MRLs) for beta-agonists, including ractopamine, permitted in local and imported meat and other products.

The Department of Health plans to cap the allowable level at a maximum of 10 parts per billion, the same level voted upon in early July by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the United Nations' food safety body.

(By Lin Shu-yuan and Lilian Wu)