With Taiwan agreeing last week to end its restriction of American beef and pork products, U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., is calling it a win for farmers and ranchers and is pushing for a free trade agreement with that nation.

Yoho, who sits on the U.S. House Agriculture and Foreign Affairs Committees and leads Republicans on the U.S. House Asia and the Pacific Subcommittee, has ranked as one of Taiwan’s greatest champions on Capitol Hill during his eight years in Congress. He weighed in on Friday on the latest development.

“Today is a great day for America’s farmers, ranchers, and the U.S.- Taiwanese relationship. After my many talks with President Tsai, about receiving U.S. pork exports to Taiwan, she finally delivered.  I applaud her decision to lift restrictions on U.S. pork and beef imports. America’s farmers and ranchers produce the highest quality pork and beef in the world,” Yoho said on Friday.

“President Tsai’s leadership in lifting these restrictions clears a hurdle and opens the door to the real possibility of a bilateral U.S.-Taiwan free trade agreement, something I have been advocating for years. Today’s announcement will continue to strengthen our alliance and grown the U.S.-Taiwan relationship. Thank you, President Tsai and the people of Taiwan,” Yoho added.

U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., one of the chairmen of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, has also praised the news and is also pushing for a free trade deal with 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 and Yoho, 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 and Michael Waltz.

Yoho is sticking to his campaign pledge of serving four terms in Congress and is not running for reelection in November. Kat Cammack, a longtime aide to Yoho, is the favorite in November to win this heavily Republican seat. She faces businessman Adam Christensen who won the Democratic nomination.


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


Kevin Derby
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