The Effect of Taiwan Opening US Pork

The data on this website was organised by Vsy / HUANG,CHIA-CHUN / WANG,LI-CHUN / WU,SHU-YUAN / TSAO,MEI-HSUAN; English proofread by Joe Milne; it was the report of a class. 

Events Updated: Dec 15th, 2020
Website Maker: Vsy 



Taiwan prohibited from importing US pork.

Mad cow disease broke out in the US, OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) listed it into the infected area.


Opened pork imports. Low-price pork from the US and Canada imported to Taiwan.


The Bian Government announced the lifting of the ban on ractopamine use. The implementation not adopted due to public opinion.


Codex passed the draft of the maximum residue limit (MRL) of ractopamine, which is 10 parts per billion (ppb) in pork and beef.

The Ma Government implemented policies of separating the import: US beef allowed; ractopamine-pork restriction maintained.


Trump expressed US pork and US beef are of “great significance” to trade with Taiwan.


For “the benefits of our nation and strategic development” – Taiwan announced the import of US pork and US beef.


What Is The Disputation Of US Pork?

The Effect Of Opening Imports Of US Pork To Taiwan.

Economies: TIFA→FTA

  • International trade
  • International status


Products: Ractopamine

  • Food safety
  • Labelling and traceability of food
  • The impact of industries

What Is TIFA?

TIFA (Trade and Investment Framework Agreement) is the construct of trading agreements built by the US to deal with trading issues, which expand respectively to area trades worldwide. It’s deemed as the basement of creating a Free Trade Agreement.

Free Trade Agreement

The Free Trade Agreement is an agreement between two or more countries, which grants the benefit of entering each respective market to each respective country.


  • 1994, Taiwan and the US signed the TIFA, which is the most imperative means for the mutual economies and the trades.
  • 2008~2012, the TIFA meeting between Taiwan and the US was suspended due to the import of US pork.
  • The consequent meetings were not held again after the meeting of October 2016.

The Connection Between TIFA And US Pork

BBC said that the TIFA, undiscussed since 2016, is the most crucially official agreement of the trading issue platform, as well as the issue of US pork and US beef, which is always being discussed and has been for years in the TIFA.

The decision of opening US pork and US beef would benefit the renegotiation of the marketing of TIFA between Taiwan and the US.

Once we fix the issue of importing US pork and US beef to improve the relationship with the US, we believe that the US would respond with concrete measures. Thus we could be positive towards the hold of TIFA.

TENG,CHEN-CHUNG Minister of State

The Yearly Changed Amount Of Imported US Pork 


The US pork has already been imported into our country, exceeding 500 thousand metric tons (Mt) imported over twenty years.

What Is Wrong With US Pork?

US pork is allowed, Ractopamine pork is not.

Taiwan has opened the importation of US pork completely since 2005, so the point is:

Whether opening the import of US-ractopamine pork.

Whether opening the import of low-priced US pork.

The Impact Of Ractopamine Pork 


Food Safety

Pork Industry


Labelling And Traceability Of Food




Ractopamine is merely one of the lesser-poisonous types of Beta-adrenergic agonist which contains various components of medicines. More poisonous medicine includes Salbutamol and Clenbuterol.

A beta-adrenergic agonist is affected in bodies of β -receptor, which produces physiological substances to relieve the smooth muscle, and also enhances the speed of lipolysis.

Ractopamine (Paylean®)

Usage: The medication for treating human asthma. Due to its insignificant curative powers, it has since been focused for use in animal food additives.

  • Increasing the ratio of lean meat in livestock.
  • Reducing the proportion of fat.
  • Decreasing the amount of usage in feed. (fodder)

The Side effect of over-consumption and the symptoms of getting poisoned are: Nausea, dizziness, muscular spasms, palpitations, and raised blood pressure. It leads to cardiovascular diseases.

Ractopamine has a high rate of drug metabolism, which can be excreted at 72% of the dosage after 6 hours of being taken in the human body.

The Usage In Different Countries
Species Cattle Turkey Pork Prohibition Has The Standard Of Residue
Though Hasn’t Adopted
The Number of Countries 4 2 26 3 1
Countries Canada,
The USA,


South Africa, Thailand, South Korea,
The EU,

Excluding allowable and forbidden countries, the management of ractopamine in the rest of the countries either follows the standards which were established from the Codex Alimentarius Commission or have no specific rules.

The Standard In Different Countries
Restriction of Ractopamine  Codex Taiwan Japan The USA Australia New Zealand Hong Kong Korea

in food (ppb)

Fat 10 10 10 50 10 10 10
Muscle 10 10 10 50 50 10 10 10
Liver 40 40 40 150 200 40 40 40
Kidney 90 40 90 200 90 90
Additive in food x x ˇ ˇ ˇ ˇ ˇ

The safe residue in cattle muscle is 10ppb.


The Ramifications Of Taiwanese Food Safety.

Is It Totally Safe To Eat Ractopamine-Pork?


An adult may have exceeded the recommended intake if he/she ate more than 33 pieces of 200g ribs every day, continuously over 5-10 years.



There have been no reports of poisoning from other countries that consume ractopamine-pork since over 10 years ago.

Only the dose makes the poison.

— Paracelsus, Swiss physician and chemist

Governmental Measures



Imported US pork is required to be checked by Taiwanese officers at the pork factories in the US.



Meat should be labelled clearly along with imported business, meat factories, sales stores, and stalls.



The government strictly inspects the sources, and reinforces border control. Fraudulent business is fined severely.



School meals can only use domestic meat. Additionally, increasing the meal subsidy from the government.



Since Taiwan has strictly inspected 100% of luggage that inbound passengers brought for approximately 700 days, when surrounding countries of China have been occupied by African swine fever, we haven’t had any pork farms go bankrupt, we still have pork to eat. The government would insist on food safety of US pork as strictly as it would for the protection against and prevention of African swine fever.

Who Should Avoid Eating Ractopamine-Pork?

Infants and toddlers

Pregnant women

Patients with cardiovascular disease

Conditions of renal or liver insufficiency

  • Compatriots are fond of eating viscera, a lot of visceral parts haven’t received set international standards.
  • The assessments haven’t been evaluated for high-risk people.

Is The International Standard Totally Safe?

  • The experiment only researched six body samples; and one of the samples has been stopped during the period of the experiment due to the result of getting heart palpitations.
  • All data was provided by Elanco, which produced ractopamine, it lacks reliability. 
  • The Codex manual says: Any adoptions and modifications of international standards should be agreed upon by all of the members; though the issue of ractopamine hadn’t used a consensus, it was put to the vote. 69 voted in favour, 67 voted against, and 7 abstained.

Conclusion of Food Safety

Whether Ractopamine is harmful to people, everyone has the right to choose to eat Ractopamine-food or not.

We can buy meats from reputable retailers, whom label products in more detail, thus to dispel suspicion of food safety.


The Impact Of International Business to Taiwan

The Imported Source Of Domestic Pork In 2019

  • Taiwan 90.62% 90.62%
  • Others 9.38% 9.38%
The main imported source

Canada 37,296 Mt
Spain 13,975 Mt
The USA 11,332 Mt
Denmark 8,060 Mt
Netherlands 6,439 Mt


Would The Domestic Pork Industry Be Affected By Imported Ractopamine Pork? 

No, since natives prefer eating domestic fresh pork, imported pork is not preferred by local citizens. As a result, ractopamine pork would only replace the other imported pork markets.

The government imposes measures to assure that the pork industry won’t be affected.

The Effect of Pork Price:

The major portion of variable costs for pig farmers is feed fee, which accounts for 72.2% of the variable costs. Thus the changes in the feed fee significantly affect the cost of production.

Currently, the price of US pork without ractopamine is only priced at half that of domestic pork; Once importing ractopamine-pork, the price would be lower; the impact would be larger.

The Possible Solution of The Negative Effects of Pork Price :

On account of the prime feed of pigs is corn as well as the USA is the major producing country, we can purchase corn from the USA, and provide them lower tariffs as a trading condition, furthermore, in order to reduce the cost of internal pig feed for Taiwanese pig farms.

The Conclusion of International Issues

Lifting the ban on US pork has been a decided truth. Although Taiwanese pork has its distinct taste, it lacks exporting targets. In recent years, Taiwanese citizens have stood together to defend against African swine fever, now it’s time for Taiwanese pork to suffer the impact.

Aside from the governmental measures, Taiwanese citizens can also take action to support Taiwanese pig farmers to help them deal with the struggle.


The Influence of International Status

South Korea: Opened Ractopamine-pork And Ractopamine-beef

Bargaining chip

1. Brought domestic pressure to bear on the USA as there were millions of citizens that protested against Ractopamine-beef.

2. Consented to the USA to reduce the US beef tariff from 40% to 0% in the year 2026 within 15 years.


Not importing US beef from cows younger than 30 months, the US pledged only the farms which fit QSA (Qualified Security Assessor) are allowed to import beef to South Korea.

Japan: Opened imports of Ractopamine-pork and beef

Bargaining chip

Utilised the car industry to protect agriculture: To maintain the tariff margin between imported pork and local pork, at the expense of exporting cars with 0% tariffs to the US after 25 years.


Got green light in 2015, the tariff of ¥500 or below per kilogram is ¥50; the most inexpensive pork has maintained the tariff of 10%.

The EU: Prohibited Ractopamine-pork and beef

Bargaining chip

1. At the expense of providing the US with 20,000 Mt of beef per year for which without using Hormones and growth promoters for tariff-free, the ban on ractopamine-pork and beef is applied.

2. Increasing the imported allocations again since August 2019. The allocation will be increased to 3.5 Mt a year within 7 years in the future.


The EU prohibited any imported meats which contain ractopamine.

The relationship between Taiwan and the USA has been getting warmer over the past two years. The US Congress has amicably passed a series of bills towards Taiwan, but Taiwan still hasn’t had much progression on the trading agreements. Moreover, the banned imports of US pork and beef have been deemed by the US as the prominent hindrance of trades.

The estimate-reports established by USTR (United States Trade Representative), which pointed out that the means Taiwan offered are unreasonable non-tariff barriers, did not conform to the OIE (World Organization for Animal Health) guidelines nor adhered to the mutual protocol.

The US pork and beef exporters have constantly urged Taiwan to open trade, it has been an intense pressure to the Taiwan authorities. This can be proved by the approval from the US to the recent decisions that Taiwan made. Pompeo, United States Secretary of State and Ortagus, Spokesperson for the United States Department of State, all directly indicated that lifting bans on US pork and beef is the start for the US and Taiwan to open the gate for the further cooperation.

HUANG,JIN-CHENG, Deputy Chairman of the Council of Agriculture frankly said that the Taiwanese market is small, US imports may not have room to increase even if the ban on ractopamine-pork is lifted. The importance for the US is guaranteeing trading fairness, thereby gaining more bargaining chip, requesting those countries which haven’t lifted restrictions to do so.

We have conducted a comprehensive assessment and concluded that further easing restrictions at this point on imports of beef and pork from the US is a decision that is consistent with our overall national interests and our strategic development goals. It is a decision that promotes Taiwan-US relations, satisfies food safety standards, and ensures that the incomes of pig farmers are not adversely affected.

This marks an opportunity for Taiwan to move forward in engaging with the international community. We have made this decision and I hope that everyone can stand together with us to take this courageous step forward. Our nation will certainly stride toward a better future.

President Tsai

Most of the countries and the members of CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) have been opening US pork trades based on the international standards.

Nowadays, Taiwan has a better relationship with the US than ever before, as a result of this, it’s a prime opportunity to strive for international participation.

Easing the US pork restriction at the key moment, in order to acquire signing the FTA (Free Trade Agreement), not only benefits TW-US trades, but also gives Taiwan the benefit of being able to join the CPTPP.



From the aspects of food safety, economy, and international relationships, lifting the ban of US pork is a must for Taiwan to develop its trading.

Taiwanese people have the right to know as well as the right to be empowered in choosing purchases —the government should take the responsibility to provide supportive measures; assist in thriving the industry, reduce the impact of the industry and budget, and implement the inspection in order to stand guard for consumers; thoroughly resolve the controversy of food safety, which would ease the intensity for citizens and open the opportunity to connect with internationalism.


The data on this website was organised by 

Vsy / HUANG,CHIA-CHUN / WANG,LI-CHUN / WU,SHU-YUAN / TSAO,MEI-HSUAN; English proofread by Joe Milne; it was the report of a class.

Please feel free to leave your feedback or any comments through the form to contact the website’s builder ,Vsy. 

Events Updated: Dec 15th, 2020
Website Maker: Vsy 

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