Taiwan Caucus Urges Commerce, USTR to Include Taiwan in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework

Press Release

Date: March 31, 2022
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Foreign Affairs

Dear Secretary Raimondo and Ambassador Tai:

As Members of Congress committed to U.S. leadership in the Indo-Pacific, we look forward to the Biden Administration moving ahead to develop and implement an Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), in collaboration with allies and partners in the region. We believe IPEF is a meaningful step for America to reengage and demonstrate leadership in the robust Indo-Pacific economic scene.

As Taiwan is a major economy in the Indo-Pacific region, we strongly believe that Taiwan should be invited to participate in the IPEF. Taiwan has already expressed an interest in participating in the IPEF. The reasons in favor of Taiwan's participation are compelling. Taiwan has long been an important trading partner of the United States and was its 8th largest in 2021 with $114 billion in total trade. It has served a critical role in diversifying the U.S. supply chain, which has become increasingly dependent on the People's Republic of China (PRC). Since 2020, Taiwan and the United States have engaged in the U.S.-Taiwan Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue, covering a broad range of economic issues including digital commerce, 5G networks, telecommunications security, supply chains, infrastructure cooperation, renewable energy, global heath, and science and technology--many of the same issues to be addressed by the IPEF.

Other regional participants should welcome Taiwan's inclusion in the IPEF. Taiwan has been an active member in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) since 1991 and has worked closely with regional partners to facilitate trade and investment liberalization. Also, Taiwan has built up its partnerships with regional countries under the Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF), a platform co-found by the United States and Taiwan which Japan and Australia subsequently joined as full partners. Since its founding in 2015, GCTF's international workshops attracts thousands of participants from the regional countries that benefit from Taiwan's expertise. That expertise would also enhance the likelihood of a successful outcome of the IPEF deliberations.

For these reasons alone, we believe that Taiwan should be at the front of the line to be invited to participate in the IPEF. Taiwan's inclusion would also send a clear signal that the United States stands with its allies and partners, and will not be bullied by the PRC. Mindful of Russia's ongoing war on Ukraine, it is critically important for the United States to unequivocally support Taiwan as it confronts an increasingly bellicose PRC. Taiwan's admission to the IPEF would be an essential step in demonstrating America's resolve to protect, defend, and strengthen that key partnership.

Accordingly, within all applicable rules and regulations, we urge your support for Taiwan's admission to IPEF.