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US official says no basis for renegotiation of beef issue


U.S. official says no basis for renegotiation of beef issue

Washington, Jan. 22 (CNA) — The U.S. Trade Representative Office (USTR) said Friday that Taiwan has destroyed its bilateral agreement with the United States on beef imports and there is no basis for renegotiation of the issue.

With some U.S. lawmakers urging the USTR to take a tough stance and suspend talks on the Taiwan-U.S. Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), the USTR said its aim is to ask Taiwan to do whatever it can to implement the bilateral agreement, and the USTR will consider all alternatives that could help achieve that target.

Four U.S. representatives said in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Ron Kirk Wednesday that they do not think the U.S. should resume trade and investment talks with Taiwan until Taiwan reverses its ban on U.S. ground beef and beef offal.

Taiwan Premier Wu Deh-yih stressed Friday that the trade friction between the U.S. and Taiwan on the beef issue was temporary and that such disputes occur frequently in the world. Wu said he hopes the U.S. government will understand.

However, in response to questions from the media, the USTR reiterated that Taiwan must follow the U.S.-Taiwan beef protocol and open its market to U.S. beef products as agreed.

Taipei concluded a deal with Washington in October last year to lift a ban on imports of U.S. bone-in beef, ground beef and beef, offal.

However, Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan later voted to revise the law to force the government to reinstate its ban on imports of American ground beef and beef offal.

(By Zep Hu and Fanny Liu)

 source: CNA