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June 9, 2023

Finance, Ways & Means Committee leaders introduce bill approving Taiwan trade agreement

Administration contends Congressional approval of Taiwan pact is unnecessary

On June 9, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR), Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID), House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO) and Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA) introduced legislation that would approve the first trade agreement signed under the recently signed U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade. The bill would require the administration to return to Congress for approval of subsequent rounds of the agreement, establishing rules on transparency and consultation for any future agreements negotiated under the Taiwan initiative.

The text of the bill is attached with this Tax Alert.

The bill, the "United States-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade First Agreement Implementation Act" (as yet unnumbered), is scheduled to be marked up by the House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday, June 13, along with Chairman Smith's three-bill economic growth package, also released Friday. A statement from the Senate Finance Committee said the legislation is necessary "to ensure that the [U.S.-Taiwan] agreement can enter into force and become a durable, reliable legal framework for both the United States and Taiwan."

In a news release, Senate Finance Chairman Wyden said, "The United States and Taiwan share democratic values, deep economic ties and strong people-to-people connections. Those links have formed the basis of constructive trade discussions. My colleagues and I want to ensure these agreements have the support and durability of a bipartisan approval process behind them." House Ways and Means Chairman Smith said, "While Congress should have been in the driver's seat from day one in these trade negotiations, it is imperative that we act now in a bipartisan manner to support this early agreement with Taiwan, require that Congress be consulted on and approve any future trade steps with Taiwan, and ensure any such future agreements like this are only established through robust Congressional consultation and a vote of approval."

The Biden administration has maintained that the Taiwan agreement, and similar deals with Indo-Pacific and Western Hemisphere nations, is not a full free trade agreement and does not require congressional approval.


Contact Information
For additional information concerning this Alert, please contact:
Washington Council Ernst & Young
   • Any member of the group, at (202) 293-7474.


Taiwan Trade Agreement Implementation Act