Mr. President, I wish to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act, TRA, which has served as a tangible symbol of the unbreakable friendship between the United States and Taiwan. Today, the partnership between our two countries is stronger than ever.
The 1979 Taiwan Relations Act provides the framework for our official engagements with Taiwan, which marked the end of our official diplomatic ties. For 35 years the TRA has facilitated a partnership committed to facilitating trade, investment, security cooperation, and promoting regional security.
The bilateral achievements made through the TRA have allowed our citizens to create innovative and lasting advancements to the world economy. Today, Taiwan stands as our 12th largest trading partner, and in 2013, the United States and Taiwan traded over $63 billion in goods and services. This bilateral relationship has supported thousands of jobs in both countries, and we must remain committed to the mutual gains this collaboration can provide.
I applaud our West Virginia businesses that have recognized the potential of the Taiwanese economy and exported over $41 million in commodities, high-tech goods, and services to Taiwan last year. We must build on this strong foundation while helping Taiwan meet its needs for foreign sources of energy. I will continue to seek opportunities for further trade integration with Taiwan and shared economic prosperity.
I look forward to working hand-in-hand with our friends in Taiwan to ensure the next generation of American leaders can stand where I stand today, 35 years from now, and celebrate several more decades of peaceful and vibrant collaboration.