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Free Trade Agreement Between The U.S. And Taiwan

Location: Washington, DC

FREE TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE U.S. AND TAIWAN -- (Extensions of Remarks - September 29, 2006)


* Mr. KING of New York. Mr. Speaker, today I rise in support of H. Con. Res. 236, a resolution expressing Congressional support for a free trade agreement between the United States and Taiwan. As a cosponsor of this resolution, I join with over 65 of my colleagues in urging the Administration to begin these negotiations.

* For more than 50 years, the U.S. and Taiwan have shared a close economic and security relationship resulting in more than 140 bilateral agreements. In 2005, trade between these countries totaled $56.9 billion as Taiwan became the 8th leading trading partner of the U.S. while the U.S. was Taiwan's 3rd leading trading partner. The Bush Administration has shown its commitment to expanding free trade in the region by signing FTAs with Singapore and launching negotiations with Korea and Malaysia recently. Now it is time to start discussions with Taiwan on a FTA that will further strengthen this relationship.

* A 2002 report issued by the U.S. International Trade Commission found various sectors of the U.S. economy would increase significantly if the U.S. entered in to a FTA with Taiwan. While both the U.S. and Taiwan would benefit greatly from the elimination of trade and investment barriers, New York State stands to gain as well. Some of the largest U.S. companies whose headquarters are based in New York have invested in Taiwan. And over 300 Taiwanese companies specializing in computers, finance, and jewelry have invested in New York. In 2005 New York State exported over $1 billion worth of products to Taiwan. The reduction of these tariffs will certainly increase exports to Taiwan and create more jobs in New York. Finally, this FTA will allow New York companies to use Taiwan as a gateway for selling its products to China and the entire Asia-Pacific region.

* A FTA between the U.S. and Taiwan has already been endorsed by 23 state legislatures. This important agreement will expand and greatly enhance the already close relationship between the U.S. and Taiwan.

* Mr. Speaker, given these facts, I believe now is the time to begin negotiations on a free trade agreement between the United States and Taiwan.

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