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Remarks by AIT Director Douglas Paal at U.S. Beef Reception

Honored guests, ladies and gentlemen, it is my privilege to welcome all of you to this evening's reception and to welcome American beef back to Taiwan.  

We have all been waiting for this evening for a long time and in just a few more moments, we can once again enjoy the premium taste of American beef. 

The first shipments of American beef began arriving in Taipei nearly two weeks ago.  The response by Taiwan's consumers has been tremendous.  It is obvious that the number of American beef lovers in Taiwan is quite large.

The United States is committed to the Taiwan market.  We will continue to work hand-in-hand with the U.S. Meat Export Federation and their partners in the Taiwan business community to ensure that Taiwan's consumers have access to the highest-quality beef that America has to offer.

Taiwan's decision to resume imports of U.S. beef is the result of a careful, deliberate, and credible assessment of the safety of American beef.  This process, which was based on science and in accordance with internationally-accepted guidelines, convinced Taiwan health officials and a group of independent expert advisors, that American beef is safe for Taiwan consumers.

I want to acknowledge and thank Taiwan's Department of Health and its Food Safety Bureau for their rigorous adherence to a science-based, technical approach in their risk assessment process.  I also want to thank those other members of the Executive Yuan for their support of the Department of Health's recommendation to lift the ban on U.S. beef. 

Because of the diligence of all those involved and the adherence to a science-based review, the decision to resume imports can be accepted by Taiwan consumers with confidence.  The enthusiasm that has greeted the return of U.S. beef to Taiwan proves that the decision is in fact, embraced by the public.

This story is not just a success for American beef, it is a success for Taiwan consumers, Taiwan meat importers and processors, and Taiwan businesses.  It is also a successful example of the United States and Taiwan working together to resolve a potentially difficult issue.

On behalf of the American Institute in Taiwan, my thanks and congratulations to all of you who played a role in this process.  Tonight, we can all join together and enjoy the result of your hard work:  the best beef in the world!

Thank you.