Mario Diaz-Balart: Time for a Trade Deal With Taiwan Now that It’s Accepting American Beef, Pork

Taiwan has agreed to end its restriction of American beef and pork products to the applause of a key member of the Florida delegation.

U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., is one of the chairmen of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus. He and the other chairmen–U.S. Reps. Steve Chabot, Ohio, Gerry Connolly, D-Va., and Albio Sires, D-NJ–released a joint statement on the matter on Friday.

“As co-chairs of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, we welcome President Tsai’s decision to revise Taiwan’s restrictions on U.S. pork and beef imports that have long impeded trade negotiations between our two countries,” the four congressmen said in the statement. “In the face of an aggressive People’s Republic of China, we believe that such an agreement is increasingly important for the national and technological security of both the United States and Taiwan. We are eager to capitalize on the momentum this announcement has generated, and hope that Ambassador Lighthizer will reciprocate this gesture of goodwill by working toward beginning negotiations on a trade agreement with our longstanding ally, Taiwan.”

At the end of last year, more than 160 members of Congress urged U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to begin work on a bilateral trade agreement with Taiwan. Besides Diaz-Balart, members of the Florida delegation who signed that letter include Democrats U.S. Reps. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell and Donna Shalala and Republican U.S. Reps. Gus Bilirakis, Neal Dunn, Matt Gaetz, Brian Mast, Francis Rooney, Michael Waltz and Ted Yoho.

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

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