August 28, 2020

Chairman Risch: Taiwan Imports of U.S. Ag Products is Important Step in the U.S.-Taiwan Relationship

BOISE, Idaho – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, made the following statement regarding today’s announcement that the government of Taiwan is lifting restrictions on imports of beef and pork from the United States:

“Taiwan is an important friend and partner of the United States, and a model for democracy in the Indo-Pacific. Opening up additional trade and economic avenues with Taiwan, which is already the number two trading partner of my home state of Idaho, is important to advancing our already strong partnership. I welcome President Tsai’s decision to lift restrictions on imports of U.S. agricultural products including beef – the second largest agricultural commodity in Idaho. Deepening our trade ties with partners across the Indo-Pacific is critical to U.S. interests, and I strongly support the United States exploring a free trade agreement with Taiwan and reaching more markets with high quality products made in Idaho.”

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on Idaho’s cattle ranchers and beef industry. As one of the leading producers of beef cattle in the United States, supporting Idaho’s family farms and cattle operations is of significant importance to Idaho’s agriculture sector. Senator Risch has long advocated for better free trade agreements to export Idaho’s agricultural commodities to foreign markets, including Taiwan.

Taiwan will now welcome imports of beef of all ages, rescinding restrictions that only permitted beef under 30 months of age. Taiwan will also raise their standards to allow for the import of more U.S. pork products. These steps will reduce burdensome inventory practices and expand opportunities for Idaho-based producers to increase exports of beef and pork to Taiwan. 

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