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 FAPA Press Release - US Rep. Introduces HCR 342, Calling for US-Taiwan FTA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                           

CONTACT: Iris Ho                                                                                                     February 16, 2006

 

US REPRESENTATIVE INTRODUCES US-TAIWAN FTA RESOLUTION

Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ) yesterday introduced H.Con.Res.342, calling for a free trade agreement between Taiwan and the United States. The resolution lauds Taiwan’s democratic and economic achievements and concludes: “That it is the sense of the Congress that the President should make the conclusion of a free trade agreement between the United States and Taiwan one of the top priorities of the United States when initiating bilateral free trade agreements with foreign countries.”

A similar resolution was introduced by Rep. Jim Ramstad (R-MN) and William Jefferson (D-LA) three years ago in the 108th Congress.

FAPA President C.T. Lee states: “Negotiations on free trade agreements with several Asian countries are under way, such as South Korea and Malaysia. Taiwan is not only the gateway to East Asia but also the eighth largest trading partner of the United States, ranking between South Korea and Malaysia. Taiwan is a model democracy in the region as President Bush stated when he praised Taiwan’s democratic achievements in Kyoto last November. That is why the idea of an FTA with Taiwan has already received a lot of backing from the US Congress.”

C.T. Lee continues: “A US-Taiwan FTA has economic and political advantages. The FTA will bring tremendous opportunities and commercial interests to American companies. Since China attempts to isolate Taiwan by forming ASEAN plus three, an FTA between Taiwan and the United States will help Taiwan break its international economic isolation. Additionally, once an FTA with the United States is concluded, we believe Beijing will be less likely to assume that it could take military action against the island without involving the United States.”

C.T. Lee concludes, “The US trade deficit with China again broke all records last year. Therefore, the President should adjust his current trade policy towards the region. Moving discussions on the US-Taiwan FTA forward is definitely a step in the right direction.”

新聞聯絡人何燕青 202-547-3686

FAPA 新聞稿】                                                                                                                                        2006216日】

美議員引進台美自由貿易協定決議案 

台灣連線成員之一的安德魯斯眾議員於昨日引進第342號決議號,公開呼籲布希政府支持台美雙邊自由貿易協定。這個決議案,雖然不具法律效力,主要是在建議布希政府優先考慮與台灣簽署雙邊自由貿易協定,並希望布希政府能夠促進與台灣之間的各項貿易機會。 

美國國會在三年前也曾引進一個類似的決議案,當時是由傑弗遜(William Jefferson, D-LA)與瑞斯塔(Jim Ramstad, R-MN) 議員在眾議院共同領銜的。  

決議案裡提及台灣的各項經濟成就,並強調台灣是美國的第八大貿易夥伴,遠高於新加坡、摩洛哥、約旦、澳洲等已經與美國完成簽署自由貿易協定的國家。決議案裡並引用美國國際貿易委員會200210月份的報告,表示台美自由貿易協定一旦完成,美國對台出口將增長十六百分比;國際經濟研究院則預測台美自由貿易協定將使美國對台出口每年度增長六十億美元。 

FAPA會長李青泰表示:「美國近來已經與數個亞洲國家,如南韓與馬來西亞等國,展開雙邊自由貿易協定的相關談判。台灣是美國第八大貿易夥伴,介於南韓與馬來西亞之間;希總統去年十一月在京都發表談話時,公開讚揚台灣是東亞的民主模範。這些都是為什麼與台灣簽署自由貿易協定這個議題在美國國會受到廣泛支持的主要原因。」

李青泰接著表示:「台美自由貿易協定不只會為美國許多企業與廠商帶來豐厚的利潤與創造許多機會,這樣的協定也包涵著重要的政治意義。當中國藉由東南亞國協加三等區域經貿整合圈來刻意排除台灣時,台美自由貿易協定將有效協助台灣打破在國際經貿上所受到的孤立。有些學者則強調,如果台美之間有著雙邊自由貿易協定,將大幅減低北京攻打台灣的可能性。」

李青泰最後表示:「根據日前所公佈的數據,美國對中國的貿易逆差又再創新高。布希總統應修正現有對亞洲的經貿政策,推動台美貿易協定即是行政部門應採取的正確方向之一。」

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