Ms. BUERKLE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Taiwan on the second inauguration of President Ma Ying-jeou. In so many respects, Taiwan has come a long way in its progress. Taiwan has become one of the world's leading economic forces, despite enormous pressure and obstacles.
As a close ally and friend of Taiwan, we celebrate the rapid advancement of the island nation. Given our close ties with Taiwan--ties that include our common defense and economic cooperation--their progress as a nation is vital for American interests. I am proud to be a member of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.
A basic element of our common economic well-being is trade. Taiwan is a major trading partner of ours and a major importer of one of our largest industries, agriculture. Taiwan imports large amounts of wheat, corn, and soybeans, mostly from the United States. Poultry and pork production is a staple of Taiwan's livestock sector and drives demand for imported corn and soybeans from the United States, Taiwan's prime supplier.
In these trying days of world economic upheaval, it is certainly gratifying to know we not only have a good friend but a good customer in Taiwan. By their continued imports of our products, Taiwan helps to provide American jobs, which is more important than ever for the American people.
Good luck President Ma. We wish you the best in your second term.