China's ban on pineapples not in line with global trade rules


All of a sudden, China notified us about the pineapple pests and immediately banned imports of our products. We believe that it does not comply with international trade rules.

Wang Mei-Hua

Taiwan’s minister of economic affairs

Most of Taiwan’s pineapples are consumed domestically, according to Reuters. However, of those exported, 90% of them were sold to China last year.

“All of a sudden, China notified us about the pineapple pests and immediately banned imports of our products. We believe that it does not comply with international trade rules,” Wang told CNBC’s Emily Tan on Wednesday.

“But we will try our best to reflect and discuss with China on this issue. Meanwhile, we will try to diversify and sell our great products to other markets beyond China,” she said, according to a translation of her comments in Mandarin.

A hawker selling pineapples seen in the street of Taipei. As China bans the import of Taiwan pineapples, leaders of Taiwan are urging its people to buy more pineapples to help minimize the impact on farmers.

Ceng Shou Yi | NurPhoto | Getty Images

U.S., Canada support

Diplomats from the U.S. and Canada have also shown support for Taiwan and its pineapples. The two countries do not have formal diplomatic relations with the island, but enjoy close ties.

Canada’s trade office in Taipei posted a photo on its Facebook account of its staff posing with pineapples and pizza. The post included the hashtag #FreedomPineapples.

Separately, the American Institute in Taiwan used the hashtag #pineapplesolidarity and shared pictures of the tropical fruit in offices and bookshelves. It has also posted recipes that use pineapples.

Last week, a bill introduced in the House of Representatives called for the U.S. to resume diplomatic ties with Taiwan, negotiate a free trade agreement (FTA) and support the island’s membership in international organizations.

Wang, Taiwan’s minister of economic affairs, said Washington and Taipei have “long-standing” relations both economically and strategically. They also have strong cooperation in the semiconductor industry, she said.

“If, in the future, we could have an FTA, we would definitely welcome and pursue it because it would further strengthen our economic ties,” she added.



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