President vows to resolve issue over US beef imports


TAIPEI — President Ma Ying-jeou said yesterday that the government is continuing efforts to resolve issues regarding beef imports from the United States, in the hope that trade talks between the two countries can soon resume.

Receiving a delegation from the U.S. State of Kentucky led by Governor Steve Beshear at the Presidential Office that day, Ma also expressed hope that Taiwan can join the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement within eight years.

“Only by doing this can we increase integration with the regional economies and avoid being marginalized,” Ma said.

Talks between Taiwan and the U.S. under the bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, last held in July 2007, have been stymied for several years over Taiwan’s bans on imports of U.S. beef, first out of fears about mad cow disease and later because of U.S. beef containing leanness-enhancing drug ractopamine, which is permitted in the U.S but banned in Taiwan.