Taiwan’s government agreed on Thursday to fully open its market to Canadian beef imports, raising a hurdle as Taipei prepares to sign a bilateral investment deal with Ottawa later this year.
Taiwan had previously banned imports of Canadian beef slaughtered more than 30 months earlier due to concerns about bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease.
Taiwan’s cabinet said in a statement after a weekly meeting that it had approved the full opening of beef imports from Canada, although the island’s food and drug administration said six items of offal, including brains and the eyes, would still be prohibited due to safety concerns.
Taiwan lifted a similar 30-month ban on US beef in 2021. The island produces little beef and relies mainly on imports from the US, Australia and New Zealand.
Canada’s government said in May that its beef exporters would soon have full access to the Taiwanese market, after its top trade officials met at an Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) meeting.
Taiwan has been in talks with Canada for a two-way investment promotion agreement called the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement.
Taiwan’s chief trade negotiator, John Deng, said this month that he expected the deal to be signed this year.
Taiwanese media previously reported that the beef issue had been a stumbling block in those talks.