US meat and dairy exporters hail progress on trade deal with Taiwan | 2022-08-18

U.S. meat and dairy exporters have a lot to gain if Taiwan removes barriers to their products. That’s why groups representing the two sectors are welcoming the US announcement that the two countries have reached agreement on a broad set of goals for a trade pact on which they plan to begin negotiations this fall.

The US Meat Export Federation “is pleased to see trade negotiations with Taiwan moving forward and that commitments to science-based trade and production technologies are included,” said the President and CEO of the Meat Export Federation. USMEF, Dan Halstrom, in a statement provided to Agri Pulse. “Taiwan is a terrific market for U.S. beef exports and holds great growth potential for U.S. pork, if trade barriers are successfully removed.”

The U.S. dairy sector remains hopeful that the Biden administration will reconsider its decision not to include tariff reduction provisions in the U.S.-Taiwanese 21st Century Trade Initiative, said Jaime Castaneda, executive vice president of the National Federation. milk producers and the US Dairy. Export Council. Nevertheless, Castaneda insisted on Agri Pulse that exporters are happy to see the deal moving forward.

“While we are encouraged that the administration is committed to advancing science-based regulatory practices in trade discussions with Taiwan, we are concerned that negotiating lower tariff barriers in this key market will be not a priority for the administration,” Castaneda said. “U.S. dairy exporters are increasingly at a competitive disadvantage in Taiwan and across Southeast Asia, while our trade competitors enjoy preferential market access through comprehensive trade agreements. .”

When it comes to beef, the United States sells a lot to Taiwan and gets very good prices for those cuts.

The amount of beef the United States exported to Taiwan in the first five months of this year increased by 36% and the value increased by 86%, according to USMEF data. These exports accounted for 49% of Taiwan’s imports, making the United States its main foreign supplier.

But outdated BSE and other restrictions still limit the potential for even better trade, according to USMEF.

While Taiwan last year removed cattle age restrictions for beef imports from the United States, the country still has restrictions on American beef from imported Canadian cattle. USMEF says it makes no sense because the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) has recognized Canada as a ‘negligible risk’ country for BSE – the lowest risk category there is. and the same category as the United States

Additionally, Taiwan banned the import of US ground beef, beef trimmings and internal organs in 2010 – an act that defies OIE standards.

“Taiwan is one of the few countries still maintaining restrictions on US beef under the guise of BSE-related food safety concerns,” USMEF said in comments submitted to the US Trade Representative’s office. “Through the Taiwan Initiative, we urge Taiwan to align with international standards and remove these outdated barriers to American beef.”

Meanwhile, pork exports to Taiwan have fallen, which market analysts have blamed on the country’s handling of its restrictions on ractopamine and consumer fear of US pork. Although Taiwan has lifted its zero-tolerance policy for ractopamine residues in American pork, it has adopted strict country-of-origin labeling requirements.

“Country of origin requirements and other implicit messages questioning the safety of American pork, combined with weak risk communication efforts by the Taiwanese government, have devastated demand for American pork in Taiwan” , USMEF said in comments it submitted. at the USTR.

The U.S. dairy industry is primarily concerned about tariffs as it relates to Taiwan, but the USDEC and NMPF hope the Taiwan deal can also prevent non-tariff barriers plaguing U.S. exports elsewhere in Asia.

U.S. dairy exports to other Asian countries are hampered by “regulatory hurdles such as onerous facility registration requirements and certification requirements,” and the U.S. should use the Taiwan deal to avoid the same issues with Taiwan, the USDEC and NMPF say in comments submitted to the USTR.

Specifically, the United States should get Taiwan to commit to accepting the standard export health certificate for dairy products issued by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service.

“The US-Taiwanese initiative’s disciplines on this would help guard against future problematic changes by remembering the use of the certificate for future exchanges,” the USDEC and NMPF state.

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