FAPA Applauds Unanimous Passage Of Taiwan Policy Act (TPA) In House Subcommittee

Today the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific of the United States House of Representatives unanimously passed HR419, aka the Taiwan Policy Act (TPA).

The TPA was introduced on January 25, 2013 by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and co-chairs of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Gerald Connolly (D-VA), John Carter (R-TX) and Albio Sires (D-NJ) “to strengthen and clarify the commercial, cultural, and other relations between the people of the United States and the people of Taiwan.”

It is a comprehensive bill that addresses over a dozen different aspects of the U.S.-Taiwan relationship, and updates the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) to reflect the new realities in this U.S.-Taiwan relationship.  The TPA builds on the TRA (which has functioned effectively as the cornerstone of US-Taiwan relations over the past three decades). It does not amend or supersede the TRA.

The TPA had been introduced during the previous 112th Congress, was passed by the House Foreign Affairs Committee but did not make it to the floor by the time Congress adjourned for the year in the fall of 2012.

During the April 25 markup hearing, the following 8 Representatives attended the hearing: Steve Chabot (R-OH), Eni Faleomavaega (D-SA), Ileana Ros Lehtinen (R-FL), Mo Brooks (R-AL), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Doug Collins (R-GA), Scott Perry (R-PA), Ami Bera (D-CA).

Chairman Chabot stated: “This bill strengthens the relations of our two nations.  And I want to emphasize “Two Nations” for Taiwan is a democracy, an old friend and ally, and it deserves to be treated as such by the U.S. government.” Rep. Faleomavaega said: “Reason why we pass this Act, is that we want to achieve that the leaders of Taiwan can continue to practice their democracy.”

Rep. Rohrabacher emphasized that Taiwan is a free and independent country. Rep.  Perry: “I believe we should break through the barrier of conventional wisdom in our relations with Taiwan and work towards the normalization of relations.” Rep. Ros-Lehtinen concluded: “Taiwan continues to be such an essential alley to the United States. This bill reiterates our support, and tells the Taiwanese people just how deeply we value that friendship.”

FAPA President Mark Kao, Ph.D. says: “This bill is one of the most significant pieces of legislation to address U.S.-Taiwan relations over the past decade and, if passed, will greatly bolster Taiwan’s ability to preserve its freedom of action in the international community.”

Dr. Kao concluded: “Next, the bill has to pass the House Foreign Affairs Committee, then the floor of the House to be followed by introduction in the Senate where the bill has to follow a similar path. We at FAPA will mobilize all our members all over the United States on the grassroots level to help ensure that this critically important bill becomes law at the earliest opportunity.”

台灣人公共事務會讚許美國眾議院亞太事務小組委員會無異議通過「台灣政策法」

美國眾議院亞太事務小組委員會於4月25日無異議通過編號H.R.419的「台灣政策法」(Taiwan Policy Act, TPA)。

台灣政策法於1月25日由佛州共和黨眾議員羅斯雷提能(Ileana Ros-Lehtinen)及眾院台灣連線四位共同主席:佛州共和黨議員迪亞茲巴拉特(Mario Diaz-Balart)、維州民主黨議員康納利(Gerald Connolly)、德州共和黨議員卡特(John Carter),以及紐澤西州民主黨議員席瑞斯(Albio Sires),共同提出。

該法案包括台美關係中十幾項不同的議題,並更新1979年的「台灣關係法」(Taiwan Relations Act, TRA),使其更能反映台美關係的真實現況。台灣政策法是建基於過去三十年來台美關係的重要基石─台灣關係法─上,但並未修改,也不會凌駕於其上。

「台灣政策法」曾在第一百一十二屆美國國會中被提出,並通過外交事務委員會審查,但截至該屆國會於2012年秋天散會之前,該項法案並未送交眾院表決。

俄亥俄州共和黨議員夏波(Steve Chabot)、美屬薩摩亞民主黨代表法里歐馬維加(Eni Faleomavaega)、羅斯雷提能議員(Ileana Ros-Lehtinen)、阿拉巴馬州共和黨議員布魯克斯(Mo Brooks)、加州共和黨議員羅拉巴克(Dana Rohracacher)、喬治亞州共和黨議員柯林斯(Doug Collins),以及賓州共和黨議員裴瑞(Scott Perry)等八位眾議員出席4月25日的審議聽證會。

小 組委員會主席夏波議員說道:「此法案將強化我等兩國的關係,而在此我要特別強調『兩國』,因為台灣是一個民主國家及一個長期的美國盟友,而它也應該受到美 國政府如是的對待。」法里歐馬維加代表說:「我們通過這項法案的原因,是因為我們要讓台灣可以持續保有其民主。」羅拉巴克議員強調台灣是一個民主自由之 邦,而裴瑞議員則說:「我認為我們需要突破現有台美關係的框架,進而將台美關係正常化。」羅斯雷提能議員總結道:「台灣是美國重要的友邦,通過這項法案代 表著我們的支持,也向台灣人重申我們是多麼重視台美友誼。」

台灣人公共事務會會長高龍榮博士表示:「這個法案是過去十年中,關於台美關係最重要的一件法案。若此法案通過,將更加保障台灣在國際社會的自由空間。」

高博士總結道:「法案通過小組委員會後,必須通過外交事務委員會,接著由眾議院投票表決,才能送交參議院,並在參院中再經過相似的程序。台灣人公共事務會將會動員全美的會員,發揮草根力量,確保這項重要的法案盡速通過立法。」

(April 25, 2013) FAPA Applauds Unanimous Passage Of Taiwan Policy Act (TPA) In House Subcommittee / 台灣人公共事務會讚許美國眾議院亞太事務小組委員會無異議通過「台灣政策法」