Nearly 70 Members of Congress sent a bipartisan letter to USDA and U.S. Trade Representative objecting to the Taiwanese government’s protectionist trade restrictions on U.S. pork and beef. 

The letter, organized by Congressmen Denny Rehberg (R-MT) and Ron Kirk (D-WI), stated, “We are writing to you with strong concern regarding the non-science-based restrictions that Taiwan has placed on beef and pork imports from the United States. 

For over a year, Taiwan has unjustifiably increased inspections of U.S. beef and pork products in search of residues from feed additives. These inspections, which are not based on scientific data or standards, have tainted consumer perception of U.S. beef and pork products in Taiwan and have caused a significant decline in exports.

We are concerned that if this issue remains unresolved, it will continue to have negative consequences for our constituents who work in the beef and pork industries.” 

The issue is the use of ractopamine, which improves feed efficiency and growth rate while increasing the lean carcass percentage.  It has been approved by 26 countries’ food safety authorities, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).