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Chairman Smith Floor Remarks – Opening Statement on Taiwan Trade Legislation

June 21, 2023

As prepared for delivery.

“Congress is sending a bipartisan message to President Biden today that we will not sit idly by as the administration ignores our Constitutional role in developing U.S. trade policy.

“The relationship between the United States and Taiwan is vital to U.S. interests in the Indo-Pacific. This initial trade agreement negotiated by the Biden Administration is a good step. It builds on successful provisions that were included in the USMCA that was negotiated by President Trump, and it shows the world that the Chinese Communist Party will not intimidate the United States from deepening our relationship with Taiwan.

“While Congress supports the early agreement that came from these negotiations, we will not stand by passively as the Biden Administration—or any future administration—attempts to bind the United States in a trade agreement without approval from Congress. Congress must be in the driver’s seat on trade policy, not a passenger along for the ride.

“Trade impacts every American. When done right, trade can boost small businesses, help American workers, and open up new markets for American farmers. Bad trade policy, on the other hand, can kill American jobs and give other nations unfair advantages over U.S. manufacturers, workers, and agriculture.

“Every American deserves a voice in the outcome of these negotiations that impact their lives so much, which is why Congress, as their voice in Washington, must be involved in the development and approval of these agreements.

“The Taiwan trade bill before us today restores Congressional authority on trade policy. It celebrates this agreement, but it also makes it clear that it cannot take effect unless this legislation is signed into law. It forces the Administration to consult with Congress in a meaningful way moving forward, something that has not occurred to date. And it requires any future deals with Taiwan to be subject to a vote in Congress. Without a vote on trade agreements, Congress can be ignored.

“This will ensure trade agreements are in the best interest of American workers, families, farmers, and small businesses.

“This bill has broad bipartisan support in both the House and Senate. Democrats and Republicans agree that U.S. trade policy must come through Congress, and the President will no longer be allowed to sidestep our constitutional authority.

“I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to stand up for the voice of the American people and vote to pass this bill.”