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USDA wraps up trade mission to Taiwan.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) wrapped up a trade mission to Taiwan on Thursday, April 25.

On Wednesday, April 24, the head of the USDA's delegation, Ken Isley, spoke to media in the U.S. via phone call from Taipei, and said that the delegation discussed the issue of ractopamine in animal products with Taiwanese official in very 'frank' terms.

This trade mission was part of the American Institute (AIT) in Taiwan's yearlong campaign to celebrate forty years of U.S.-Taiwan partnership since the Taiwan Relations Act. April is the "AIT@40 Trade and Investment Month," according to a press release.

Earlier this week when asked about the USDA visit and the future of FTA negotiations, Taiwan's Minister of Agriculture Chen Chi-chung stated that currently there are no plans for any changes to Taiwan's policies on importing U.S. meat products, reports UDN.

Speaking to U.S. media outlet, Fence Post, Ken Isley was asked if the USDA's visit to Taiwan had any bearing on the negotiations between the White House and the Chinese government to resolve the ongoing trade war.

Isley insisted that U.S. trade negotiations with China did not influence the USDA's decision to organize its first ever trade mission to Taiwan. Isley emphasized there is'no connection to the ongoing trade situation' with China.

The trade visit by the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Services to Taiwan was 'long overdue,' according to Isley.

Many observers view the USDA's visit to Taiwan as a step towards a potential Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Taiwan and U.S. However, FTA talks between the two countries have been stalled for years of issues related to Taiwan's restrictions on many U.S. pork and beef products.

In addition to government officials, trade representatives representing 49 agribusinesses and industry associations also accompanied the USDA visit. Fence Post reports that as of Wednesday, April 24, that representatives from 21 states held 367 successful business meetings with Taiwanese partners this week in the private sector.

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Publication:Taiwan News (Taipei, Taiwan)
Geographic Code:9TAIW
Date:Apr 25, 2019
Words:401
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