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Rep. King backs U.S.-Taiwan FTA

China Post, Taiwan

Rep. King backs U.S.-Taiwan FTA

7 October 2006

WASHINGTON, CNA/U.S. Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY) expressed support recently for the signing of a free trade agreement (FTA) between the United States and Taiwan.

During a speech delivered at the House of Representatives on the eve of the Sept. 29 recess, King, chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, said he fully supports the notion that the United States should launch FTA negotiations with Taiwan.

King said that for more than 50 years, a close relationship has existed between the United States and Taiwan, which has been of enormous economic, cultural and strategic advantage to both countries.

The United States was Taiwan’s third-largest trading partner in 2005, while Taiwan was the eighth-largest trading partner of the United States, with two-way trade between the two countries totaling US$56.9 billion that year, King added.

He noted that President George Bush has begun to deliver on his promises to expand U.S. free trade relations with Asian countries, beginning with an FTA with Singapore and followed by FTA talks with Malaysia and South Korea. It is therefore high time for the U.S. to talk with Taiwan on the issue, he added. King quoted an annual report issued by the U.S. International Trade Commission in 2002 as showing that some sectors of the U.S. economy would increase significantly in percentage terms (motor vehicles, rice, fish and other food imports to Taiwan would increase by more than 100 percent) if the United States entered into an FTA with Taiwan.

He said that so far, 23 state councils across America have expressed support for the signing of an FTA between the U.S. and Taiwan, adding that his constituency, New York State, which exported over US$1 billion-worth of products and services to Taiwan in 2005, would definitely increase exports to Taiwan and consequently create more jobs in the state if a U.S.-Taiwan FTA were to be signed.

He said that it is the feeling of Congress that the United States should increase trade opportunities with Taiwan by launching negotiations to enter an FTA. Taiwan’s top representative office in Washington has offered appreciation to King for his support, which has been incorporated into congressional records