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US lawmakers propose bill to facilitate deal

US lawmakers on Friday proposed a bicameral and bipartisan bill to approve the first agreement under the US-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade.

The proposal was made after representatives from Taiwan and the US signed an initial agreement under the trade initiative in the US on Thursday.

US Senator Ron Wyden, chairman of the Senate’s Finance Committee, and US Representatives Jason Smith, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, among others signed the proposed legislation on Friday.

The passage of the US-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade First Agreement Implementation Act is necessary to put the initiative into action and ensure that Taiwan-US relations would have a “durable [and] reliable legal framework,” the Senate Finance Committee said in a news release.

“The United States and Taiwan share democratic values, deep economic ties and strong people-to-people connections,” Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, was quoted as saying.

“My colleagues and I want to ensure these agreements have the support and durability of a bipartisan approval process behind them,” he said.

The legislation requires US President Joe Biden to issue a report to the US Congress indicating he has determined that Taiwan would take the necessary measures to comply with the terms of the agreement and that the agreement would advance the interests of US workers, farmers and consumers, the news release said.

The bill requires US officials to ensure that any additional agreements with Taiwan would be made transparently and in full consultation with the Congress, it said.

The legislation is to be reviewed by all relevant and appropriate committees in the House before heading to the Senate.

The legislation must be passed by both chambers and signed by Biden to take effect.

The agreement is a symbolic show of support from Congress, as the trade initiative deal is not governed by the rules that typically apply to treaties with foreign states, the Central News Agency reported, citing unnamed sources.

Source: Taipei Times



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