[Congressional Record Volume 164, Number 9 (Tuesday, January 16, 2018)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
From the Congressional Record Online through GPO
TAIWAN TRAVEL ACT
HON. HENRY C. “HANK” JOHNSON, JR.
in the house of representatives
Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Mr. JOHNSON of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 535,
the Taiwan Travel Act.
H.R. 535 reaffirms congressional support for the Taiwan Relations Act
and upholds the policy that allows U.S. officials at every level to
travel to Taiwan to meet their counterparts, and allow Taiwanese
officials to do the same in Washington. The bill also encourages the
Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) to continue
to conduct business in the U.S.
Since the enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act, ties between the
United States and Taiwan have suffered from insufficient high-level
communication, largely due to the restrictions that the United States
placed on visits by high ranking officials to Taiwan. The United States
and Taiwan maintain what the U.S. Department of State calls “a robust
unofficial relationship.” The relationship has been unofficial since
January 1, 1979, when the Carter Administration established diplomatic
relations with China and ended formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan. In
the absence of diplomatic relations, the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA,
P.L. 96-8), enacted on April 10, 1979, provides a legal basis for the
U.S. relationship with Taiwan.
I fully support H.R. 535 and encourage officials at all levels of the
U.S. government to travel to Taiwan to meet their counterparts.
Official travel between our countries is an integral part of developing
stronger diplomatic ties, and our international trade relationship
makes this bond between us particularly important. Taiwan is currently
our 10th largest trading partner, and in 2016 this partnership totaled
an estimated $84.9 billion.
Our established trade partnership with Taiwan continues to help
bolster the United States economy also by providing and sustaining
jobs. According to the Department of Commerce, in 2015 U.S. exports of
goods and services to Taiwan supported an estimated 208,000 jobs
domestically. It is essential we support H.R. 535, the Taiwan Travel
Act to encourage strong diplomatic partnerships between the United
States and Taiwan.