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Taiwan and US begin TIFA talks


Taiwan and the US have begun talks on the bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). These are the first trade talks the US has been a party to since President Donald Trump came to office.


US officials have expressed hope that Taiwan will open up to meat imports that meet international standards in terms of additives like leanness-enhancing drug ractopamine.


The two sides will discuss working points agreed upon at a TIFA meeting last October. Economic ministry official Tseng Hsien-chao explains:


"The TIFA meeting last October was an official meeting. This meeting is not as formal," said Tseng. "Of course, the topics we’ll discuss will be the same issues we discussed during the last meeting- issues such as intellectual property rights, medicines, medical equipment, investment, agriculture, and technical trade barriers. These are subjects of concern for both sides, and we will discuss thoroughly the technical aspects involved."


Presidential office spokesperson Sidney Lin said that issues of mutual concern include intellectual property rights, agricultural products, medical supplies and dumping.


On the issue of imports of US pork containing ractopamine, Tseng said Taiwan would seek to understand the information provided by US officials but does not plan to change its policy blocking imports during the meeting.