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200 US congressmen back Taiwan's inclusion in Indo-Pacific Economic Framework

Congressmen argue Taiwan should be "at the front of the line to participate in the IPEF'

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Taiwan and U.S. flags side by side. (Depositphotos image)

Taiwan and U.S. flags side by side. (Depositphotos image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Two hundred members of the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday (March 30) signed a letter sent to the Biden administration calling for Taiwan's inclusion in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF).

The letter was crafted by Representatives Steve Chabot, Albio Sires, Mario Diaz-Balart, Gerry Connolly and signed by 196 members of the House of Representatives from both major political parties and addressed to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai. In the document, the congressmen present "compelling" reasons why Taiwan should be included in the IPEF.

The congressmen started by pointing out that Taiwan is a major economy and has already expressed interest in joining the framework. They noted that Taiwan is the 8th largest trading partner of the U.S. with US$114 billion (NT$3.26 trillion) in trade recorded in 2021.

The authors argued that Taiwan will play a key role in diversifying the U.S. supply chain away from China. They highlighted the fact that many issues covered by the IPEF have already been discussed as part of the U.S.-Taiwan Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue, such as digital commerce, 5G networks, telecommunications security, supply chains, infrastructure cooperation, renewable energy, global health, and science and technology.

The representatives underscored Taiwan's active membership in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and close work with countries in the region on facilitating trade and liberalizing investment. As a member of the Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF), the congressmen observed that participants in the platform's workshops have benefited from Taiwan's expertise and that such knowledge would also "enhance the likelihood of a successful outcome of the IPEF deliberations."

The congressmen emphasized that Taiwan should be "at the front of the line to be invited to participate in the IPEF." They stressed that Taiwan's admission would send a clear signal of unity with allies and partners and that the U.S. "will not be bullied by the PRC."

Amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the representatives asserted that it is vital for the U.S. to "unequivocally support Taiwan as it confronts an increasingly bellicose PRC." They closed by stating that Taiwan's inclusion would be an "essential step in demonstrating America's resolve to protect, defend, and strengthen that key partnership."