US House passes bill reaffirming Taiwan Relations Act amid US-China trade war

With 414 votes in support of the TRA and no votes against, there was overwhelming support for closer ties with Taiwan

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Screen shot from C-SPAN's live streaming of House vote

Screen shot from C-SPAN's live streaming of House vote

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The United States House of Representatives voted 414-0 to approve a resolution reaffirming the U.S. commitment to Taiwan on Tuesday (May 7).

Representative Michael McCaul spoke in support of the bill, urging elimination of the U.S.’s self-imposed diplomatic restrictions on interacting with Taiwan. The bill introduced by Rep. Eliot L. Engel further consolidates the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), binding the U.S. to treat Taiwan as a major ally outside of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

After U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to raise tariffs on Chinese goods earlier this week, Senator Chuck Schumer tweeted in support of the president, saying that “strength is the only way to win with China.”

At a press conference on Monday (May 6), when asked about trade negotiations with the U.S., China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang (耿爽) deferred the question to “the relevant authority” but refused to specify which relevant authority he was referring to.

According to Reuters, the House also passed the Taiwan Assurance Act of 2019 by voice vote. The bill urges the U.S. to normalize arms sales to Taiwan. It is not clear when the Senate will vote on the bill.