House bill, senator call for US-Taiwan trade agreement

Growing chorus in Congress backs bilateral trade deal between US, Taiwan

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/07/30
By: Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Both a House bill and a senator on Wednesday (July 29) called for a bilateral trade agreement between the U.S. and Taiwan.

On Wednesday, Congressman Ted Yoho (R-FL) introduced a bill primarily aimed at authorizing the U.S. to use military force in the event that China attacks Taiwan, but it also advocated a bilateral trade deal between the U.S. and Taiwan. That same day, Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) wrote a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer urging him to begin negotiations on a U.S.-Taiwan trade pact.

Section 202 of the bill introduced by Yoho, the Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, states that the U.S. trade representative should enter into negotiations with counterparts from Taiwan on setting up a bilateral trade agreement between the two countries. The bill stipulates that negotiations should begin within 180 days of the passage of the legislation.

During an online interview with the US-Taiwan Business Council that same day, Gardner revealed that he had sent a letter to Lighthizer in which he exhorted the trade representative to "immediately initiate meaningful negotiations between the United States and Taiwan on a comprehensive Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA)." Gardner pointed out that US$95.4 billion of trade was exchanged between the two countries in 2018, that the TAIPEI Act calls for a free trade agreement between the nations, and that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) had endorsed a U.S.-Taiwan BTA before the American Chamber of Commerce in 2019.

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