Taiwan's import ban on US beef products could impact on their ESTA acceptance.
18 March 2011
Taiwan’s acceptance into ESTA program hampered by beef export issue
The Taiwan import ban on US beef products containing ractopamine residue could have an impact on the nation’s request to be included in the US ESTA travel program, said Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Shen Lyu-shun said yesterday.
Shen was speaking at the legislature’s Foreign and Defense Committee. Shen said the US had expressed concern over the import ban by Taiwan, the six-largest market for US beef exports at US$114.3 million in October last year and that the US government expected to see progress on the ractopmaine issue before talks on a ESTA visa-waiver agreement could take place.
The US Visa Waiver program allows nationals from participating countries to enter the US for stays of up to 90 days using only the quick, online ESTA program rather than the more lengthy travel US Visa which requires a visit to the US Embassy as part of the application process.
“We aim to separate the beef issue from other bilateral issues and hope that both countries can set aside disputes,” Shen said.
The Taiwanese government had said it would not revise its zero-tolerance policy for ractopamine unless the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex) established standards for trace levels of ractopamine.
The American Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their ESTA to the US Embassy.