May 10, 2019

Washington, DC— Representative John Curtis (R-UT), member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement after two of his bills passed the House last night without objection. The Congressmen joined his bipartisan colleagues on the Foreign Affairs Committee to introduce H.R. 2002 — “To foster security in Taiwan, and for other purposes” and H. Res. 273 — “Reaffirming the United States commitment to Taiwan and to the implementation of the Taiwan Relations Act.”

“The 23.5 million people of Taiwan represent the only democracy in the Chinese speaking world and the island has come to represent many of the same principles we hold dear. With its sixth successful direct presidential election in 2016, Taiwan continues to serve as a proud example of democratic success in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Curtis. “39 years ago, I was a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Taiwan. I grew to love their unique customs, culture, history, and language, and I developed a great personal appreciation for its people and their way of life. It is an honor and privilege to support our friend and partner, Taiwan, and highlight the bonds that connect us.”

Background

Taiwan has been a reliable partner in East Asia. US trade in goods with Taiwan reached $68 billion in 2017, making Taiwan the United States’ 11th largest trading partner. More specifically, Taiwan is Utah’s 6th largest trading partner and received $636 million in exports from Utah in 2017.

Over the last four decades, Taiwan has blossomed into a beacon of democracy in Asia and an increasingly important US partner, but US-Taiwan relations have continued to be constrained by administrative restrictions.

H.Res. 273 recognizes the Taiwan Relations Act on the 40th anniversary of its signing: April 10, 1979. It also reaffirms that the Taiwan Relations Act—together with President Reagan’s “Six Assurances”—are and will remain cornerstones of United States relations with Taiwan.

H.R. 2002 also recognizes the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act and aims to fix excessive restrictions and a lack of transparency. Specifically, the bill directs the Secretary of State to review its guidance on relations with Taiwan, reissue such guidance, report to Congress on the process, and furnish the relevant guidance to the House and Senate foreign policy Committees. It also states that it is US policy to advocate for Taiwan’s meaningful inclusion in United Nations, World Health Assembly, International Civil Aviation Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization, etc., supports Taiwan’s continued pursuit of asymmetrical defense capabilities, and encourages the US Trade Representative to continue negotiations with Taiwan to reach a bilateral trade agreement that increases market access for the US and promotes Taiwan’s economic wellbeing.

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