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Ways and Means Passes Bipartisan Legislation Affirming Support for U.S.-Taiwan Trade Relationship & Reasserting Congress’ Constitutional Role in Trade

June 13, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Committee on Ways and Means approved legislation today by a vote of 42-0 that formerly implements and confirms Congress’ support of a trade agreement – the “Initial Agreement” – negotiated by the Biden Administration and Taiwan. The United States-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade First Agreement Implementation Act (H.R. 4004) also requires Congressional approval of any such future trade agreements with Taiwan, and ensures the Biden Administration works with Congress, including reporting and consultation requirements, to make sure the Administration does not ignore the constitutionally established role of Congress in international trade.


In his opening remarks during consideration of the bill, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (MO-08) discussed how having Congress involved in trade negotiations has strong bipartisan support and will ensure agreements serve the interest of the American people:


“In addition to being required by the Constitution, a Congressional vote will make sure these trade agreements are in the best interest of American workers, families, farmers, and small businesses. Congress will only approve trade agreements that put American workers and families first and foremost.


“What’s particularly encouraging about this legislation is that it represents a bipartisan effort to reassert Congress’s constitutional authority. I am proud to join Democrats and Republicans in both the House and Senate in leading this effort. When it comes to trade, we are speaking with one voice that this Administration, or any future Administration for that matter, must not circumvent Congress or the Constitution, and that the President does not have the authority to bind the United States in trade agreements without congressional involvement and approval.”


Key Facts on the United States-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade First Agreement Implementation Act (H.R. 4004):


  • 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, and requires such agreements be subject to Congressional approval.