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Smith, Crapo, Neal, and Wyden Announce Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislation to Approve First Taiwan Trade Initiative Agreement

June 09, 2023

Washington, D.C. — U.S. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (MO-08) and Ranking Member Richard Neal (MA-01), along with U.S. Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR), announced legislation to approve the first trade agreement signed under the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade, and set robust transparency and consultation requirements for any future agreements negotiated under the initiative.

Given Congress’s constitutional authority over international trade, this approval bill is necessary to ensure that the agreement can enter into force and become a durable, reliable legal framework for both the United States and Taiwan.  This legislation will also ensure that this deal and future trade agreements between the United States and Taiwan are subject to strict requirements on consultation with Congress and transparency with the American public.

This bill approves the first agreement under the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade, which sets rules of the road in five areas of trade: customs administration and trade facilitation, good regulatory practices, services regulation, anti-corruption, and small and medium-sized businesses.

The legislation:

  • Provides for congressional approval of the first trade agreement arising from the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade; and
  • Imposes new congressional consultation and transparency requirements on the Administration with respect to the negotiation of any subsequent agreements arising under the initiative.

“Taiwan is a friend and critical economic ally of the United States, making it all the more important that any trade agreement with Taiwan be grounded in the Constitutional authority Congress has over U.S. trade relations,” said Chairman Smith.  “While Congress should have been in the driver’s seat from day one in these trade negotiations, it is imperative that we act now in a bipartisan manner to support this early agreement with Taiwan, require that Congress be consulted on and approve any future trade steps with Taiwan, and ensure any such future agreements like this are only established through robust Congressional consultation and a vote of approval.”

“The people of Taiwan have built a robust, thriving democracy, and both the Biden Administration and the Congress have recognized that deepening our economic connection is a top priority,” said Ranking Member Neal.  “This bicameral, bipartisan legislation affirms Congress’ constitutional authority on trade and will not only support Taiwan’s democracy, but strengthen our bilateral trade relations.”

“This legislation proves that Congress can—and will—lead on trade, and that it cannot be bypassed, nor is there any reason to do so,” said Senator Crapo.  “Congress is ready to pursue an ambitious trade agenda on a bipartisan basis.  The Administration should recognize it is now time to negotiate real agreements with market access.”

“The United States and Taiwan share democratic values, deep economic ties and strong people-to-people connections,” said Senator Wyden.  “Those links have formed the basis of constructive trade discussions.  My colleagues and I want to ensure these agreements have the support and durability of a bipartisan approval process behind them.”