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US-Taiwan Beef Talks in Final Stages

23 June 2009

TAIWAN - Taiwan and the United States are in the final stages of negotiations to fully open up Taiwan's market to US beef.

Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said that technical negotiations are being carried out by the Ministry of Economic Affairs' Office of Trade Negotiations, the Council of Agriculture and the Department of Health (DOH).

Harry Tseng, director-general of MOFA's Department of North American Affairs said the government was optimistic that teh situation could be resolved this year, according to a report in The Taiwan News.

The US currently supplies 32 per cent of Taiwan's beef, but under existing DOH regulations, only boneless beef from cattle younger than 30 months of age, produced from certified slaughterhouses and without specified risk material such as brains and spinal cord, can be imported to Taiwan.

The US has been repeatedly urging the Taiwan government to make a science-based decision on fully opening its market to US beef.

All of Taiwan's scientific review and technical work indicates that US beef does not pose a threat of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), the US says.

Taiwan banned US beef in 2003 and the ban was lifted in April 2005 to allow imports of US de-boned beef from cattle aged under 30 months, but the local government reimposed the ban two months later when a second BSE case was discovered in the US.

TheCattleSite News Desk


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