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Taiwan calls for reopening of US trade talks

Published on Aug 6, 2012 4:41 PM

TAIPEI (AFP) - Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou on Monday called for the resumption of stalled trade talks with the United States (US) after the island recently lifted a six-year-old ban on some US beef imports.

"We hope the Taiwan-US economic and trade negotiations can be placed back on the right track as soon as possible," Mr Ma said while meeting US Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Jose W. Fernandez.

Negotiations between the United States and Taiwan on a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (Tifa), seen as a precursor to a full-fledged free-trade agreement, have been dormant since 2007. This was caused by a dispute over imports of beef containing any residual ractopamine, a growth drug used in animal feed to promote lean meat.

But with the removal of the ban, Taiwan feels that the barrier to the talks with the island's third biggest trading partner is gone, Mr Ma said, according to a presidential office statement.

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