Press Release: Hundreds of State Legislators Urge Support for US Trade Agreement with Taiwan
Arlington, VA (October 14, 2021): Today, ALEC Action released a letter signed by 215 state lawmakers representing 39 states urging the Biden Administration to prioritize negotiations on a US-Taiwan Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA). Taiwan, with a strong commitment to democratic principles and one of the freest economies in the world, has earned expedited consideration for a BTA. ALEC Action commends the Administration’s resumption of bilateral trade and investment framework agreement (TIFA) talks as a precursor to a BTA.
America’s economic partnership with Taiwan is a job creation engine – 373,000 jobs in the US were supported by bilateral trade between our two democracies in 2019 – and the US is Taiwan’s second largest import market and the third largest provider of energy to the island nation.
Lisa B. Nelson, CEO ALEC Action
Capitalizing on trade opportunities is one of the surest ways to rebuild America’s post-COVID economy. Taiwan, which boasted Asia’s fastest economic growth in 2020 – growth which is expected to accelerate this year – is an ideal economic partner. US-Taiwan commerce creates jobs in the states in numerous business sectors including high tech, energy and agriculture.
Strengthening America’s bilateral partnership with Taiwan also confers strategic benefits, including securing supply chains for critical items such as semiconductors. A strong partnership also sends an unequivocal message to China that the United States places a high value on the US-Taiwan relationship. State lawmakers recognize that international trade is an economic engine for their states and that 95% of the world’s consumers live beyond our borders. State legislators typically travel widely, have a sophisticated understanding of US national security priorities and global affairs and are genuinely moved by Taiwan’s stubborn adherence to democracy and thriving free market system despite threats from across the Strait.
TSMC, a Taiwanese semiconductor firm, already has a manufacturing facility (FAB) in Washington state and is currently constructing a second FAB in Arizona. Taiwan’s investment in America creates US jobs and helps to secure US supply chains for semiconductors, a critical component for products that American families use every day.
Senate President Karen Fann (AZ State Senate)
A bilateral trade agreement between the US and Taiwan would benefit both nations and would remind the world that America views Taiwan’s sovereignty as inviolable and will honor its commitments under the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances. Clear and unambiguous signals and communication are a much better way to prevent military conflict than strategic ambiguity.
Karla Jones, Sr. Director Federalism & International Relations at ALEC