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Taiwan activists protest against U.S. beef
- A environmental protester holds a picture of US beef during a demonstration outside the American Institute in Taipei (Photo: Sam Yeh/AFP)
Agence France Presse | Fri, Jun 08 2012
Taiwan activists protest against U.S. beef
Larger trade talks between Taiwan and the United States have stalled as a result of the country’s indecision about accepting U.S. beef imports.
By Agence France-Presse
TAIPEI — Scores of Taiwanese activists staged a protest in Taipei on June 8 against U.S. beef containing the feed additive ractopamine ahead of a parliamentary vote on a controversial bill to allow such imports.
"American bullies, toxic beef," the protesters shouted, waving matching placards as they rallied outside the de facto U.S. embassy in Taipei.
"We don’t welcome U.S. beef containing ractopamine. We want the U.S. to know that even though Taiwan is small, the Taiwanese people want to live with dignity," said organiser Chen Man-li.
The island’s parliament is set to vote next week on a bill to allow imports of U.S. beef containing the growth drug ractopamine, which is used in animal feed to promote lean meat.
The move aims at facilitating trade talks with the U.S. but it has been met with strong opposition from local farmers, activists, opposition parties and even some lawmakers of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party.
President Ma Ying-jeou, also chairman of the KMT, has urged the party’s lawmakers to back the bill, saying it will facilitate agreement with the United States on a pact known as the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).
"If we can’t solve the beef issue, they [the U.S.] won’t want to resume TIFA talks and the ties with our third largest trade partner won’t improve," Ma told a party meeting late on June 7.
"If Taiwan won’t open to the world, the world won’t embrace Taiwan ... You vote for the bill for Taiwan’s future and to lead Taiwan to a future of liberalization," he said.
Talks between Washington and Taipei on TIFA, often referred to as a precursor to a full-fledged Free Trade Agreement (FTA), have been dormant since 2007, because of a dispute over imports of U.S. beef.
Washington has recently urged Taipei to ease restrictions on U.S. beef, indicating that the stalled trade talks between the two sides hinge on the issue.
Taiwan, China and the European Union ban ractopamine because of possible human health risks, but 26 countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia and Brazil, have declared the product safe.
Upcoming days of action
Oct to Nov: autumn of action against CETA in Europe incl. Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Italy, Germany, Greece, Netherland, Slovenia, Spain... - details
21 Oct: mobilisation against CETA in Montreal - details
27-28 Oct: mobilisation in Brussels against CETA - contact
03-05 Nov: mobilisation in Brussels against TTIP - contact
4 Nov: Continental day for democracy and against FTAs & neoliberalism in Latin America - contact
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18-Oct-2016 Peoples WorldIn protests billed as “anti-colonial” demonstrations, Peruvians hit the streets on 12 October against the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Trade in Services Agreement
17-Oct-2016 No al TTIPEn el marco de una semana repleta de protestas para detener la aprobación del tratado de libre comercio entre la Unión Europea y Estados Unidos (TTIP) y la ratificación del CETA (el acuerdo de la Unión Europea con Canadá), la plataforma estatal ‘No al TTIP’ ha movilizado este sábado a miles de personas a lo largo de la geografía española y muy especialmente en la capital de España.
17-Oct-2016 Stop TTIPOver 100 law professors from across Europe have come together to send a clear message to EU decision makers demanding the investor protection mechanisms be excluded from TTIP and CETA.
17-Oct-2016 The Jakarta PostAn activist group is calling on the government to not ratify the ASEAN Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) clause on International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) 1991, saying that it will increase global corporations’ monopolistic control over small farmers.
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