I participated in a Ways and Means Committee hearing on the future of our trade relationship with Taiwan. The audience explored the opportunities offered by the ongoing trade negotiations between the United States and Taiwan. Amid increased pressure from China through intensified military exercises and heavier tariffs, Taiwan is keen to strengthen its ties with the United States and our democratic values. Done right, expanding our trade relationship could be a win for American businesses and consumers, and a win for democracy. Alternatively, the consequences of standing on the sidelines as China shapes the global market to its advantage are devastating.
President Biden and his administration seem content to take a reactive approach to trade strategies, relying on vague frameworks instead of doing the hard work of negotiating a traditional trade deal. Still, I’m looking for ways to fill the void left by the administration’s push to aggressively use Congress’ oversight responsibility over trade. We need to build momentum for a proactive trade agenda that protects American innovation, opens new markets for American products, and alleviates some of the supply chain and labor pressures our country faces. .
With Taiwan being the sixth largest export market for US wheat and the seventh largest overseas market for US agricultural products, there are promising opportunities in Taiwan. It was a privilege to join a delegation from Taiwan, including Ambassador Bi-khim Hsaio, at a letter of intent signing ceremony for the purchase of an estimated $3.2 billion worth of soybeans. , American corn and wheat. The letters were signed by the Taiwan Flour Millers Association and the US Soybean Export Council, the US Grains Council and the US Wheat Associates under the Taiwan Agricultural Trade Goodwill Mission 2022.
These Letters of Intent are important steps in the right direction, but we can still do more. Our district is home to some of the most productive farmland and ranch land in the world, and on equal footing, American produce is competitive. However, Taiwan will look elsewhere if we don’t intervene. As we give up opportunities in administration, Taiwan is asking to join other traditional trade agreements that give other nations access to their markets, such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. If we are not careful, we will find American products at a serious disadvantage.
As others around the world seek US economic leadership in the face of regional bullies like China and Russia, I hope that the Indo-Pacific economic framework and the US Trade Initiative talks United States and Taiwan will lead to positive results that will lead to increased opportunities for American products. During this process, we need to ensure that US exports are treated fairly, including agriculture, and we need the tools to get us over the finish line, which is the Trade Promotion Authority.
Taiwan seeks American economic diplomacy and American products, and that — along with the Senate hearing and action on a bill to strengthen American policy toward Taiwan — shows that Congress is paying attention. . And we’ve seen recent bipartisan successes on trade. Momentum is essential when working on trade deals, and promising opportunities exist not just in Asia, but around the world, including the UK and Kenya. I hope capitalizing on these opportunities and in the Indo-Pacific will demonstrate to the world that the United States is the economic beacon, not China.
Growing our trade relationships while enforcing the commitments we have received from other countries is more important than ever, especially given the supply chain and labor pressures we are seeing around the world. Trade is an essential component of a strong national economy and is critically important to US agriculture. As we look to the future, I will continue to promote proactive policies to help our economy thrive.