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US lawmakers call for Taiwan's inclusion in border preclearance program

Taiwan Preclearance Act would facilitate easier travel for US-bound Taiwanese

Travelers at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

Travelers at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — U.S. lawmakers on Thursday (Dec. 2) introduced a bill in the Senate and House of Representatives calling for Taiwan's inclusion in the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Preclearance program in order to strengthen bilateral trade, tourism, and business.

CBP Preclearance is the strategic stationing of CBP officers at foreign airports to inspect travelers prior to boarding U.S.-bound flights. With Preclearance, travelers can skip CBP and Transportation Security Administration inspections upon arrival and proceed directly to their connecting flight or destination, according to CBP.

The bill, called the Taiwan Preclearance Act, was introduced in the Senate by Senators Cindy Hyde-Smith, John Cornyn, and Tommy Tuberville. Meanwhile, Representative Kat Cammack simultaneously proposed the bill in the House of Representatives, CNA reported.

The establishment of a CBP checkpoint at Taoyuan International Airport would not only symbolize the significance of Taiwan to the U.S. but also show that Taiwan complies with international aviation regulations, the draft legislation says.

The bill states that Taiwan is a U.S. partner in fostering a free and open Indo-Pacific region. It calls on Washington to prioritize the inclusion of Taiwan and other regional allies in CBP or other security programs.

The draft legislation requires the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security to submit a report to Congress. This will examine the feasibility of setting up an office in Taiwan and evaluate how this will affect bilateral trade and U.S. tourism.

In March, U.S. congresspeople sent a letter to Troy Miller, acting commissioner for CBP, to support setting up a checkpoint at Taoyuan International Airport and facilitate easier travel for U.S.-bound Taiwanese.

Updated : 2022-01-21 14:31 GMT+08:00