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Rubio, Merkley Introduce Legislation to Strengthen U.S.-Taiwan Relations

Oct 20, 2020 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. —  U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced the Taiwan Relations Reinforcement Act, which seeks to update U.S. policy toward Taiwan to better reflect the realities on the ground. Specifically, the bipartisan bill would strengthen the relationship between the U.S. and Taiwan by creating an interagency Taiwan policy task force, elevating the U.S. Representative to Taiwan to a Senate-confirmed position, establishing a U.S.-Taiwan Cultural Exchange Foundation, requiring a report on the Taiwan Travel Act, promoting Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organizations, mandating strategies to protect U.S. businesses and non-government entities from Chinese government coercion, and responding to China’s sharp power operations targeting Taiwan. 
“Continuing to strengthen the U.S. relationship with Taiwan, a fellow democracy and an important security partner in the Indo-Pacific region, must remain a top priority of U.S. foreign policy,” Rubio said. “I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation, which will update U.S. policy to better reflect the realities in the region and work to address many of the challenges as well as the threats posed to Taiwan and U.S. national security by the Chinese Communist Party.”
“Taiwan’s democracy is critical to peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region, and our relationship with Taiwan is important to America,” said Merkley, who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “The United States needs to use its diplomatic, economic, and cultural clout to support partners like Taiwan that share our values. From expanding exchange programs to encouraging Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organizations to defending U.S. businesses from Chinese coercion, the Taiwan Relations Reinforcement Act takes important steps to promote a robust relationship with Taiwan.”
Rubio is Cochair of the bipartisan and bicameral Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) and is a member of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy. 
Merkley is a CECC commissioner and member of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity.