US House of Representatives to consider TAIPEI Act on Wednesday

Bill nearly identical to one unanimously adopted by Senate Committee last month

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John Curtis. (Photo: Twitter)

John Curtis. (Photo: Twitter)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee is set to review the TAIPEI Act on Wednesday (Oct. 30).

The bipartisan legislation calls on the Trump administration to exercise a range of diplomatic and aid measures against any government that takes adverse actions with regard to Taiwan. It also calls on the State Department to consider reducing economic, diplomatic, and security ties with those countries and to help Taiwan consolidate its diplomatic relations.

The Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative (TAIPEI) Act was introduced on Oct. 18 by Rep. John Curtis (R-UT). Curtis spent time as a missionary in Taiwan 40 years ago and has expressed a fondness for Taiwan's people, history, and culture.

The TAIPEI Act was co-sponsored by Michael McCaul (R-TX), the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and Albio Sires (D-NJ), co-chairs of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus; and Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX). It is one of 18 pieces of draft legislation that the committee expects to review tomorrow morning.

During a hearing on Oct. 23, Curtis noted that China has actively used its growing influence to coerce Taiwan’s diplomatic allies in the region to break ties with it, according to CNA. He added that he hopes the TAIPEI Act will help to bolster the democratic recognition of Taiwan among governments worldwide.

According to bill, the US government should consider it to be in its own national interest to reduce "economic, security and diplomatic contacts” with any countries that take significant action to harm Taiwan.

In addition to requesting that the U.S. administration support Taiwan’s international inclusion, the bill also urges it to conduct bilateral trade negotiations with Taiwan. This is aimed at protecting the American workforce and securing a free trade agreement that would benefit exporters.

The House's TAIPEI Act is currently identical to the one passed on Oct. 25 by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. According to U.S. legislative procedure, after the bill is passed by both houses of Congress, the Senate and House must coordinate on passing identical versions before it can be signed into law by President Donald Trump.