The president of Taiwan recently announced the intention to lift certain trade restrictions on U.S. pork and beef imports. Taiwan will set permissible residue levels for the feed additive ractopamine in pork, in addition to easing restrictions on the import of beef from U.S. cattle aged 30 months or older. Non-tariff barriers applied in many Asian countries are a significant stumbling block for U.S. meat exports.

Taiwan officials view this as a necessary precondition for any future U.S.-Taiwan trade talks. No timeframe for the actions has been provided. U.S. agricultural sales to Taiwan totaled $3.6 billion in 2019.

In July 2019, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen spent two days in Denver attending events with Sen Cory Gardner, Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, The Pacific, And International Cybersecurity Policy. The move was criticized by Chinese officials but marked the strengthening of ties between the U.S. and Taiwan.

More recently, Alex M. Azar II, the U.S. secretary of health and human services, met with Ms. Ing-wen in Taipei, in what was the highest-level visit by an American official to the island since 1979.  In the coming weeks, U.S. Undersecretary of State Steve Krach is also expected to visit the island.