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Rubio, Merkley Reintroduce Bill to Strengthen U.S.-Taiwan Relations

Mar 26, 2021 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. —  U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) reintroduced the Taiwan Relations Reinforcement Act, which seeks to update U.S. policy toward Taiwan to better reflect U.S. values and 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 (PL 115-135), 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. 
“I’m proud to reintroduce this bipartisan bill, which seeks to update U.S. policy to better reflect our core values as well as the current realities in the Indo-Pacific region,” Rubio said. “Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Beijing spared no effort to isolate, and exclude, Taiwan from the World Health Organization. Yet, this fellow democracy and friend showed the world that it could be the model of how to respond to a global health crisis effectively, transparently, and without resorting to draconian restrictions. I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues to ensure our nation’s policy towards Taiwan addresses the challenges of today. We must counter the Chinese Communist Party’s relentless campaign to undermine Taiwan’s vibrant democracy.”
“The world benefits from stability in the Indo-Pacific region, and U.S. support for Taiwan’s democracy plays a crucial role in defending that peace,” Merkley said. “The United States and Taiwan share many bedrock values, and we must use the diplomatic and economic tools at our disposal, as well as our cultural clout, to keep building a robust relationship with Taiwan. Let’s pass the Taiwan Relations Reinforcement Act, so we can expand exchange programs, continue to encourage Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organizations, and work together to defend our businesses from the Chinese government’s coercion.”
Rubio is a Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
Merkley is a Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and is the Chair of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.