Premier vows to keep ban on U.S. pork containing ractopamine
Taipei, Feb. 25 (CNA) — Taiwan’s Premier Jiang Yi-hua said Monday that the ban on U.S. pork containing leanness-enhancing drugs will "definitely" not be lifted while he is in office.
Jiang was speaking two weeks before the issue is likely to be put on the agenda of an important round of trade talks between Taiwan and the United States.
Asked about his position during an executive-legislative meeting of ruling party politicians, Jiang said: "The government will definitely not do it."
He was restating the government’s position when U.S. beef with traces of the livestock drug ractopamine was allowed to be imported last July.
Jiang quoted his predecessor Sean Chen as saying that "U.S. pork (containing ractopamine) will definitely not be imported while I am serving as premier."
"This statement also applies to me," said Jiang, who became premier on Feb. 18.
At the same meeting, Council of Agriculture Chief Chen Bao-ji also said that there has been no change in government policy on the import of U.S. pork. He blamed rumors about lifting the ban on scare-mongering before the upcoming election of local farmers’ associations.
There is some concern, particularly among local pig farmers, that U.S. officials would pressure their Taiwanese counterparts to lift the ban when the two countries resume talks under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) in Taipei on March 11.
(By Shun-hsieh Chen and Jay Chen)