Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Sander Levin (D-MI) today joined Ranking Member Dave Camp (R-MI) and Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-TX) in sending a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, expressing frustration with Taiwan’s undoing of an October 2009 bilateral protocol regarding market access for U.S. beef and beef product exports to Taiwan. The Members also commended the Administration for suspending talks with Taiwan under the U.S.-Taiwan Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) and requested consultations before any such discussions reconvened.
“We strongly support USTR’s efforts to ensure that Taiwan respects the agreement it reached with the United States just a few months ago,” said Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles B. Rangel (D-NY). “This is important for producers and workers in the U.S. beef industry, and it is important for U.S.-Taiwan trade relations.”
Ranking Member Dave Camp (R-MI) stated: “I support expanding economic ties with Taiwan, but the actions of its legislature are totally unacceptable and a breach of our previous agreement. Our President was right to suspend the trade and investment framework talks, and I don’t see how those resume until this matter is resolved.”
Trade Subcommittee Chairman Sander M. Levin (D-MI) continued: “It is critically important that our trading partners abide by the agreements that we reach. The United States and Taiwan agreed, on the basis of science-based international standards and Taiwan’s own risk assessments, that U.S. beef is safe for import into Taiwan. We call on Taiwan to honor that agreement and stand behind USTR’s efforts to ensure compliance.”
Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-TX) added: “The implications of Taiwan’s actions resonate beyond beef. Walking away from an agreement that two sides negotiated in good faith is a serious challenge that calls into question my view of Taiwan as a credible trading partner.”
The full letter may be read here.