Mr. SIRES. Mr. Speaker, the Republic of China (Taiwan) has had no stronger supporter than the United States Congress and today I rise in commemoration of the upcoming National Day of the Republic of China on October 10, 2013.
The United States and Taiwan share many basic principles such as democracy, human rights and trade. In particular, Taiwan is very important to the U.S. economy. In 2012, Taiwan was the 11th largest trading partner with the U.S. Additionally, Taiwan was the 7th largest destination for U.S. agricultural exports. Furthermore, bilateral trade between the United States and Taiwan is over $63 billion annually.
For Taiwan to remain competitive, it is important that they are able to participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This 12-nation trade agreement is currently being discussed among Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, and Singapore. The TPP is open to all APEC [Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation] economies, of which Taiwan is a member, and therefore would be incomplete without Taiwan's inclusion.
As the Administration follows through on its Rebalancing of Asia policy, Taiwan will play an integral role. Since Taiwan is one of our strongest allies in Asia, we need to continue to support their inclusion in the TPP; otherwise they will fail to remain competitive, which may result in a decrease of purchases for American products. This in turn, could negatively impact American farmers and manufacturers that count on Taiwan to buy their products.
Once again, I congratulate Taiwan on the upcoming National Day of the Republic of China, and look forward to continuing our working partnership.