Five members of the US House of Representatives have proposed a resolution in support of signing a free trade agreement (FTA) between the US and Taiwan, a Taiwanese official said on Friday.
The resolution, which requests that the administration of US President George W. Bush begin FTA talks with Taiwan soon for an early conclusion of the agreement, was proposed last Tuesday by Congressional Taiwan Caucus co-chairs Shelley Berkley, Steve Chabot, Dana Rohrabacher, Bob Wexler and Jim Ramstad.
Stanley Kao (
The bipartisan congressional support for the signing of a US-Taiwan FTA indicates the importance that members of Congress attach to enhancing trade relations between the two countries, Kao said.
He said the move came at an "ideal time" as the recent conclusion of FTA talks between the US and South Korea was expected to have an impact on Taiwan's industrial sector.
In addition to Congress, a number of state legislatures around the US have made similar moves, with 21 legislative bodies in 15 states adopting resolutions between January and last month to express support for a US-Taiwan FTA, Kao said.
The resolution said Taiwan, as a member of the WTO, should enjoy the same rights other WTO members have received when signing FTAs with other countries.
Taiwan shares common values with the US in terms of democracy and a free market economy, providing a strong foundation for open, fair and reciprocal bilateral trade relations, the draft resolution said.
It said that the close relations between the two countries over the past 50 years have brought about tremendous economic, cultural and strategic benefits to both sides
It said the volume of bilateral trade was valued at US$60 billion last year, with the US representing Taiwan's second-largest export market while Taiwan was the US' eighth-largest export market.
In consumption per capita, Taiwan was the largest consumer of US agricultural products, the third largest overseas market for US beef and corn, the fifth largest overseas market for US soy beans and the eighth largest overseas market for US wheat, the draft resolution said.
TENSE SITUATION: If the storm does not bring rain, Taiwan might have to wait until next month amid water scarcity in the center and south, an expert said Typhoon Surigae is to bring rain to the nation’s east coast and mountainous areas in central and southern Taiwan from Wednesday to Friday, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday. As of 2pm yesterday, the typhoon’s center was 1,170km southeast of Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻), Taiwan’s southernmost tip. The radius of the storm was 280km, and it was moving northwest at 9kph, with a maximum wind speed of 198kph. The bureau forecasts that the storm would switch to a northerly direction when approaching the east coast of Luzon Island in the Philippines on Wednesday, CWB forecaster Lin Ding-yi (林定宜) said, adding that Surigae would
SEEKING CLARITY: Some members of the US delegation asked KMT legislators in a meeting to address their party’s position on the so-called ‘1992 consensus,’ sources said A US delegation tasked by US President Joe Biden to reaffirm the country’s commitment to its partnership with Taiwan yesterday wrapped up a three-day visit to Taipei. Former US senator Chris Dodd, former US deputy secretaries of state Richard Armitage and James Steinberg, and US Department of State Office of Taiwan Coordination Director Dan Biers departed at 11:20am on a private jet. The members of the delegation, all friends of Biden, arrived on Wednesday and met with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and other government officials. During the three-day visit, the delegation also met with six members of the Legislative
Taipei’s street names should reflect a “Taiwanese spirit,” Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said in an online video released yesterday, in which he asked why many of them are named after locations in China. In a three-minute video uploaded to a Facebook page called “Taiwanese Uncle Ko Wen-je” (台灣阿北柯文哲), the mayor suggested changing the names of Taipei streets. The page’s banner was a photograph of Ko on Jade Mountain’s (玉山) main peak. The page was closed at about noon, about four hours after it was made public. Ko said that street names in the capital named “Ningxia,” “Tibet,” “Beiping” — an old name for
‘AN EXCUSE’: The intent of Beijing’s incursions was ‘intimidation and coercion,’ a senior US official said, adding that China was using the US to justify its actions Chinese carrier drills and stepped-up incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone in the past few weeks are meant to send a message to Washington to stand down and back off, security sources in Taipei said. The increased activity — which China, unusually, described as “combat drills” on Wednesday — has raised alarm in both Taipei and Washington, although security officials do not see it as a sign of an imminent attack. Rather, at least some of the exercises are practicing “access denial” maneuvers to prevent foreign forces from coming to Taipei’s defense in a war, one official familiar with Taiwan’s security