Referendums 2021/Rejecting U.S. pork could hurt Taiwan's CPTPP bid: Tsai


By Wen Kuei-hsiang, Yang Shu-min and Lee Hsin-Yin, Focus Taiwan CNA English News



Taipei, Nov. 16 (CNA) The passage of a referendum seeking to ban pork imports containing ractopomine, which largely come from the United States, could undermine Taiwan's bid to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) as it could be interpreted as a lack of determination to embrace free trade, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Tuesday.


"This is the most important display of willpower (for Taiwan), in which a country's determination is examined," Tsai said during a Podcast program as she detailed the government's opposition to a referendum slated for Dec. 18.


The referendum asks the question: "Do you agree that the government should prohibit imports of pork, offal or other related products that contain the β-agonist, ractopamine?"


While the question does not connect ractopomine pork with U.S. pork, Tsai urged the public to vote "No" in the referendum, suggesting that whether Taiwan allows such imports from the U.S. will be scrutinized by the world as it weighs the country's willingness to open its markets.


All the CPTPP's 11 signatory countries have approved the import of such products from the U.S., and they will be checking if Taiwan is prepared to clear difficult hurdles to comply with global high-standards in free trade, she said...