Draft Reaffirmation of the US Commitment to Taiwan on the 40th Anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act

Summary

Taiwan is one of the United States’ most important economic and strategic partners in East Asia, and the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) which was adopted in 1979 underpins that strong relationship. This model policy celebrates the 40th anniversary of the TRA underscoring the considerable benefits and successes of the Taiwan-US relationship over the past forty years and declaring April 10 as Taiwan Relations Act Day. This model policy also reaffirms America’s commitment to the Taiwan Relations ACT and the Six Assurances and calls for increased efforts toward bilateral economic relations and international support.  

Draft Reaffirmation of the US Commitment to Taiwan on the 40th Anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act

Draft Reaffirmation of the US Commitment to Taiwan on the 40th Anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act

Section 1. Preamble:

WHEREAS, the Taiwan Relations ACT (“TRA”) was signed into law on April 10, 1979, codifying the historically close relations with Taiwan that had existed prior to January 1st, 1979; and which serves as the foundation to preserve and promote continued bilateral bonds;

WHEREAS, the TRA enshrines the US commitment to assist Taiwan in maintaining its self-defense capability; Whereas in 1982, President Ronald Reagan further clarified the importance and resilience of the US-Taiwan relationship with the issuance of the Six Assurances, which together with the TRA are the cornerstones of US policy with respect to Taiwan;

WHEREAS, the TRA and the Six Assurances have been essential components in helping to maintain peace, security, and stability in the Western Pacific; thereby furthering the political, security and economic interests of the United States and Taiwan;

WHEREAS, the United States and Taiwan have forged ever closer economic and security relations over the last four decades based on their shared commitment to democracy, the rule of law and free market principles. And their willingness to partner in efforts to combat global terrorism and to address other global challenges related to the environment, public health, energy, education, poverty and natural disasters;

WHEREAS, the United States-Taiwan global partnership has been further strengthened since the 2015 Memorandum of Understanding establishing the Global Cooperation and Training Framework (“GCTF”) which has allowed the two parties to cohost many workshops on critical topics, including one in December 2018, on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to which ten regional governments sent participants;

WHEREAS, Taiwan has the expertise, willingness, and wherewithal to engage in international efforts to mitigate global challenges related to such issues as public health, aviation safety, crime and terrorism; but has been thwarted from doing so in the face of increased resistance by the People’s Republic of China (PRC);

WHEREAS, successive Congresses have called upon US Administrations to work to overcome the PRC’s resistance to Taiwan’s international engagement on transnational challenges by developing a plan to obtain meaningful participation for Taiwan in international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAL) and INTERPOL;

WHEREAS, the Congress most recently expressed support for Taiwan’s participation in international organizations on January 22, 2019, with the unanimous adoption of H.R. 353 by the House of Representatives;

WHEREAS, communication on bilateral political, security and economic interests would be greatly enhanced with the full implementation of the Taiwan Travel Act which became law on March 16, 2018 and which states that is should be United States policy to encourage reciprocal high-level travel by US and Taiwanese officials for official meetings;

WHEREAS, the United States and Taiwan have built a strong economic partnership; with the United States now Taiwan’s 3rd largest trading partner; and with Taiwan the 11th largest trading partner of the United States and a key destination for United States agricultural exports;

WHEREAS, the strong economic relationship between the United States and Taiwan has been a positive factor in stimulating economic growth and job creation in both countries;

WHEREAS, successive US Congresses have publicly reaffirmed US commitments to Taiwan under the Taiwan Relations Act and Six Assurances; including most recently on December 31, 2018, with the enactment into law of the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act of 2018, which stated among other things that:

  • It is United States policy “to support the close economic, political, and security relationship between Taiwan and the United States”;
  • The President Should conduct regular transfers of defense articles to Taiwan that are tailored to meet the existing and likely threats from the People’s Republic of China including supporting the efforts of Taiwan to develop and integrate asymmetric capabilities, as appropriate, including mobile, survivable and most cost-effective capabilities into its military farces”; and
  • “The President should encourage the travel of high-level United States officials to Taiwan, in accordance with the Taiwan Travel Act”:

Section 2. Now, therefore, be it resolved, that the House of Representatives –

  • Celebrates the landmark 40th anniversary of the enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act, and reaffirms that the TRA together with the Six Assurances are and will remain cornerstones of United States relations with Taiwan;
  • Urges the Trump Administration to implement the policy set forth in the Taiwan Travel Act to allow US officials to travel without restrictions to meet with their counterparts in Taiwan, and for Taiwanese official to do likewise with respect to travel to the United States;
  • Reiterates that the President should conduct regular transfers of defense articles to Taiwan consistent with its national security requirements;
  • Calls on the Secretary of State to aggressively engage internationally in support of Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organizations engaged in addressing transnational threats and challenges related to health, aviation security, crime and terrorism;
  • Expresses gratitude to Taiwan for its partnership in combating global terrorism and addressing other global challenges through the GCTF and other such initiatives;
  • Urges the President to explore opportunities to expand and deepen bilateral economic and trade relations with Taiwan;
  • Acknowledge the important work done by the American institute in Taiwan and the Taipei Educational and Cultural Representative Office in support of United States-Taiwanese interests, and
  • Designate the day of April 10th as “Taiwan Relations Act Day”.