Neal Opening Statement at Hearing on the Future of U.S.-Taiwan Trade
(As prepared for delivery)
Congress has been given the exclusive authority to regulate foreign commerce by the U.S. Constitution. This constitutional power is unique and only held by the legislative branch.
It is this Committee, as the chief trade policy authors in the House, that has led on these issues for centuries. And when considering what’s to come, that responsibility begins here, with us.
Turning to the topic before us, this hearing symbolizes our interest in a deeper trade relationship with Taiwan. There’s strong bipartisan support in Congress – in both the House and the Senate – for deepening ties. Formalizing these efforts to build more durable ties will have benefits for both the United States and Taiwan.
The people of Taiwan have built a robust and thriving democracy. In fact, Taiwan is a beacon of democracy in Asia. Recently, they’ve faced incredible pressure from their authoritarian neighbor, China. In the face of this aggression, along with Russia’s unprovoked war in Ukraine, this committee stands with the people of Taiwan. As my colleagues and I recently said on the floor of the House when we passed legislation to address Russia’s aggression, we unequivocally stand with our democratic partners.
Now, it’s time to extend the same support to Taiwan. One way to do so is by enhancing our economic engagement.
Taiwan’s vibrant democracy and its high-level of development allows us to aim high. As we will hear today, there are labor challenges but also opportunities to address those concerns, set new standards, and build on the incredible success of USMCA. We start this process with our eyes wide open.
Increased trade activity must also be paired with increases in worker and environmental protections while holding both corporations and governments accountable.
Regardless of the geopolitical and geostrategic imperative, any final agreement with Taiwan will ultimately be judged by this standard.
The path forward is bright, and I’m confident an agreement can be reached. I believe that the United States is ready to step up to the plate to deliver for Taiwan, the American people, and democracies across the world.
This hearing is a key aspect of U.S. engagement. As I mentioned at the top, U.S. trade policy starts with the Ways and Means Committee. I believe that this bipartisan hearing will start to build a public record on the future of U.S.-Taiwan trade that will lead to a deeper economic relationship with one of our most important partners.
With that, I will recognize the Ranking Member, Mr. Brady, for an opening statement.