Cabinet approves multi-billion-dollar plan to assist domestic pork industry

Taipei-Taiwan's Cabinet on Wednesday said it had approved over NT$10 billion (US$357.1 million) in funding to assist the domestic pork industry, amid concerns from local pig farmers about the government's decision to allow imports of U.S. pork containing the controversial feed additive ractopamine.

The announcement came on the eve of a scheduled report by the Council of Agriculture (COA), which is expected to detail an eight-point plan to upgrade and transform the domestic pork sector over the next four years.

According to the Cabinet, the plan will include provisions to develop a cold chain logistics system, increase cold storage capacity and help slaughterhouses come into compliance with the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HAACP), one of the major food management systems used internationally.

Taiwan's government announced last August that it would lift its ban on ractopamine in imported pork from Jan. 1, replacing it with maximum residue level (MRL) standards based on those set by the Codex Alimentarius Commission.

The move, made in the face of strong public opposition, was widely seen as an effort to clear the way for a trade deal with the U.S., which had long labeled the restrictions a barrier to closer trade ties.

Though the policy was well received by members of both parties in the U.S. Congress, then-President Donald Trump's top trade negotiator, Robert Lighthizer, never publicly acknowledged the move, and President Joe Biden has said he will focus on resolving domestic issues before entering into any new trade agreements.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel