英文裡有一個說法叫做「pigs may fly」，通常用在表示某事發生的可能性極低的時候，豬都會飛那樣的困難程度，類似中文的「太陽打西邊出來」。例：你覺得拜登總統有可能造訪台灣？「When pigs fly!」（當豬會飛天的時候，或許有可能）。
加上美國的「貿易促進授權（trade promotion authority）」已於今年逾期，之後新的貿易協定將無法再使用先前的「快軌程序」在國會快速通過審議，這將會導致美國政府在簽下新的貿易協定時更加困難。
至於 CPTTP，除非台灣允許進口2011年日本核災的受災地區福島等地的食品進口，否則日本不太可能同意台灣的 CPTPP 入會申請。就算日本寬宏大量不在乎台灣對其的食品進口限制，我們很也很難推測在CPTPP的成員之中，有哪些其他國家會為了讓中國優先加入CPTPP，而推遲台灣的入會許可。
Will Taiwan Consumers Eat Ractopamine Pork or “Pigs Might Fly” First?
By Ross Darrell Feingold
Former Asia Chairman, Republicans Abroad
In English, the phrase “pigs might fly” is used to express doubt that something will occur. The rejection of the proposed ban on the importation of pork that includes the additive ractopamine ensures that this product can be imported into Taiwan, though, pigs might fly before consumers eat it or the controversy over it ends.
During the weeks prior to the referendum vote, the Taiwan central government and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party argued that passing the referendum to ban the importation of pork with ractopamine would have a negative effect on Taiwan’s credibility in negotiating trade agreements. In other words, if a ban on the import of ractopamine pork passed, the result would be that the United States refuses to enter into negotiations with Taiwan for a trade agreement whether under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) or some other structure, and, member countries of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) would refuse to enter into negotiations to admit Taiwan into the CPTPP.
In reality, will the United States sign a free trade agreement with Taiwan? Will CPTPP members negotiate with Taiwan for its eventual membership? At least in the short term, pigs are likely to fly first. Although there is significant support in Congress for a bilateral trade agreement with Taiwan, the Biden Administration is reluctant to enter into new bilateral trade agreements, and especially new free trade agreements. The expiration this year of the United States law known as “trade promotion authority” makes it even more difficult for the United States government to enter into new trade agreements, as the agreement will no longer be considered in Congress under the “fast track” procedures that previously existed under trade promotion authority. As for the CPTTP, Japan is unlikely to support Taiwan’s CPTPP application unless Taiwan allows the importation of food from the Fukushima region that includes the location of the nuclear accident in 2011, but even if Japan puts aside that issue, it is unknown whether one or more CPTPP members will insist China be admitted to the CPTPP prior to Taiwan, and thus delay Taiwan’s entry.
Will pork from the United States that includes ractopamine be widely available in Taiwan any time soon? Notwithstanding the referendum result, consumer concerns about ractopamine and local government actions to impose consumer notification requirements, make it unlikely restaurants, night market vendors, supermarkets or other sales channels will sell it. Exporters in the United States, and importers in Taiwan, should also worry about non-tariff trade barriers such as excessive documentation requests by relevant Taiwan government agencies when product arrives at Taiwan’s ports, sudden temporary bans in response to disease outbreaks should one occur at US pork farms, and government assistance to the domestic industry that makes imports less competitive.
Perhaps, in a gesture to show that the United States and Taiwan will move forward from the ractopamine pork issue, and in a spirit of bi-partisanship, American Institute in Taiwan Taipei Office Director Sandra Oudkirk can invite President Tsai Ing-wen and Kuomintang Chairman Eric Chu to a meal in which dishes that include US made ractopamine pork are served. The menu can include both US and Taiwan style cooking, and video can be released that shows the three ate the US ractopamine pork. If President Tsai can share video that she received the Medigen COVID-19 vaccine, surely a few bites of US ractopamine pork is safe for her to do as well. Unfortunately, pigs are likely to fly before such an event occurs.
As for the Kuomintang, the result means that in the future (had the referendum passed) the Kuomintang need not explain why it wanted to ban US ractopamine pork from Taiwan. However, this is not something for the Kuomintang to celebrate, as the damage in the view of United States government agricultural and trade officials, and Members of Congress, is already done. The social media posts and statements by Democratic Progressive Party officials that the Kuomintang opposes United States pork, even if inaccurate (as a ractopamine pork ban would apply to all source countries and not only the United States) was an effective campaign weapon, and the view is that the Kuomintang opposes United States pork. In addition, Kuomintang Chairman Eric Chu’s statement at a press conference that the referendum results are “a victory for a new autocratic government in Taiwan, but is a deep wound for people who wish to deepen democracy in the nation” must be explained to the United States government and Members of Congress, who view President Tsai, the Democratic Progressive Party and the people of Taiwan as on the frontline of the fight to preserve democracy. If the Kuomintang wants to change American perceptions towards the party, it better come up with a post-referendum strategy before pigs fly.