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[Congressional Record Volume 164, Number 9 (Tuesday, January 16, 2018)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E49]
From the Congressional Record Online through GPO

                           TAIWAN TRAVEL ACT


                               speech of

                  HON. HENRY C. “HANK” JOHNSON, JR.

                               of georgia

                    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. ____________________

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