U.S. Representatives Call Upon Obama Administration To Work Towards Free Trade Agreement With Taiwan

Last night, May 6, 2010, Reps. Robert Andrews (D-NJ), Scott Garrett (R-NJ) and John Culberson (R-TX) introduced House Concurrent Resolution 276 calling upon the Obama Administration to work towards a U.S. Taiwan Free Trade agreement. Reps. Andrews and Garrett recently spoke at a Capitol Hill briefing on April 28 to revive the campaign for a U.S.-Taiwan Free Trade Agreement.

The resolution states that President Obama should make the conclusion of a U.S.-Taiwan free trade agreement a top priority, and to instruct the USTR to expedite negotiations on a free trade agreement between the U.S. and Taiwan.

During the April 28 briefing to Congress, Rep. Andrews expressed his support for such an endeavor. He stated: “for both economic and strategic reasons, the time has arrived for a Free Trade Agreement between the United States and Taiwan.”

Congressman Andrews added: “But the strategic advantage [of a U.S.-Taiwan FTA] is even more self-evident, in my view. It is an affirmation of an important sense that the United States regards the people of Taiwan, functionally as a free, sovereign and independent people. You don’t make free trade agreements with someone else’s state or territory.  You make free trade agreements with sovereign people. That is a hugely important symbol – which leads to my second point. The so–called ‘Economic Framework’ that’s being discussed between the PRC and Taiwan, in my view, is more of a ‘Cage’ than a ‘Framework.’  I think it reflects a negotiation from the point of a disadvantage. Now I believe any duly elected government has the autonomy to negotiate any agreement it sees fit for its people, but that presupposes a negotiation that is free of coercion and is conducted in a truly bilateral, equivalent context. And that is most assuredly not the case.”

FAPA President Bob Yang, PhD says: “A U.S.-Taiwan FTA will free Taiwan from China’s economic stranglehold which is, in fact, a potent nonmilitary instrument of influence that China is forging to affect political choices in Taiwan and to achieve the annexation of Taiwan.”

Dr. Yang concludes: “If and when the U.S. exercises its leadership to ink an FTA with Taiwan, other like-minded democracies will undoubtedly follow suit.  This would permit Taiwan to broaden its trade and other international relations, thereby giving Taiwan an opportunity to escape the death embrace of China.”

 

美眾議員呼籲歐巴馬政府推動台美自由貿易協定

美國紐澤西州民主黨眾議員安德魯斯(Robert Andrews, D-NJ)以及共和黨議員蓋瑞特(Scott Garrett, R-NJ)與德州共和黨克柏森議員(John Culberson, R-TX)於昨晚(6日)提出第276號決議案,呼籲歐巴馬政府推動台美自由貿易協定。安德魯斯及蓋瑞特議員日前雙雙參與一場國會簡報,重新喚起各界對台美自由貿易協定這項議題的支持。

這項決議案表示,「歐巴馬總統應該將台美自由貿易協定列為優先順序,並指示美國貿易代表處加速與台灣方面的相關談判。」

在這場於4月28日假美國國會舉行的簡報中,安德魯斯議員公開發表他對這項議題的支持。他在簡報中說:「無論是經濟或戰略考量,現在正是美國與台灣簽署自由貿易協定的時刻。」

安德魯斯議員又說:「我認為這個(美台自由貿易協定)帶來的戰略優點是很明顯的。這在強化一項很重要的美國認知,也就是美國視台灣人民在運作上是自由、自主與獨立的人民。你不會和其他國家的一州或是領土來簽署自由貿易協定,而是與自主獨立的人民簽訂自由貿易協定。這有著極為重要的象徵性-也是我接下來要提到的第二點。目前台灣和中國進行討論中所謂的『經濟架構』(ECFA),依我看來,與其說是個架構,其實更像是個牢籠。我認為這反應出一個從弱勢出發的談判。當然我相信任何一個正當民選的政府有自主權來進行他們認為對人民有利的談判,但前提是這樣的談判必須在不受外界脅迫,並且在真正雙邊、對等的情況下所舉行。目前很明顯不是這樣的情形。」(安德魯斯議員演講全文請見如下。)

FAPA會長楊英育表示:「台美自由貿易協定將讓台灣有機會跳出中國的經濟枷鎖,這個枷鎖事實上是中國一個強而有力的非軍事工具,來影響台灣的政治選項以達到併吞台灣的目的。」

楊會長最後表示:「如果當美國率先與台灣簽署自由貿易協定時,其他意識型態相似的民主國家無疑會接著跟進。這將使台灣能夠擴大貿易和其他國際關係,因而讓台灣有一個機會跳脫出中國的死亡擁抱。」

(May 7, 2010) U.S. Representatives Call Upon Obama Administration To Work Towards Free Trade Agreement With Taiwan / 美眾議員呼籲歐巴馬政府推動台美自由貿易協定