"American beef and pork products are the best and safest in the world, period," said Rehberg, a member of the Congressional Rural Caucus and a fifth generation rancher. "The Taiwanese government is using pseudo-science to duck free trade laws, unfairly penalizing U.S. and Montana producers.

We've been pushing for a common sense solution on this issue, and I'm encouraged the Taiwanese government is showing signs of movement. But it's clear that Taiwan is still trying to play politics with their trade policies and it's costing jobs here at home. We're going to keep fighting until we get that changed."

At issue is the use of an additive, ractopamine, which improves the feed efficiency and growth rate, while increasing the lean carcass percentage. Twenty-six countries' food safety authorities, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, have approved the supplement.

Taiwanese officials told the World Trade Organization they would remove the barriers to products containing the supplement in 2008, but they have failed to act.

Last week, Taiwan announced it would consider lifting the import ban on beef with ractopamine under certain levels. The concession would not apply to pork and would still allow Taiwan to restrict the import of beef using other means.  end_mark


—From Beltway Beef Newsletter