Resolution Urging the Obama Administration to Launch Negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement with Taiwan Exposed

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The Resolution Urging the Obama Administration to Launch Negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement with Taiwan was adopted by ALEC's International Relations Task Force and approved by the ALEC Board of Directors on January 8, 2010. (Accessed on 2/29/2016).

CMD's Bill Summary

From its 1998 resolution in support of "Fast Track" Trade Promotion Authority, which was used to push a permanent normal trading relationship with China through Congress in 2000 with little discussion or debate, to more recent resolutions in support of the proposed Colombia, Panama and Korea Free Trade Agreements, ALEC has consistently urged its members to support a radical "free trade" agenda. This free trade agenda has cost America millions of jobs as factories closed and moved overseas in search of cheaper labor. Since 2001, an estimated 2.4 million American jobs have been lost to China alone. Now a diverse array of service sector jobs, from accounting and tax preparation to health care and credit card servicing are being off-shored under these agreements. Such free trade agreements also allow public health, consumer, environmental and worker safety rules to be challenged as "barriers to trade" in trade tribunals that operate outside the constraints of U.S. law.

ALEC has also been a major promoter of the U.S. tobacco industry, which seeks to hook new generations of smokers on their products around the world. Reynolds Tobacco was the corporate co-chair of the International Relations Task Force of ALEC. ALEC has a trade resolution specifically targeting the European Union ban on Snus, a moist tobacco product often marketed to the young with fruit flavors. Reynolds produces Camel Snus in four flavors and is not happy that this dangerous product is banned in most of Europe. Note that ALEC maintains a list of "International Delegates," which are elected government officials around the world.

ALEC Resolution Text

WHEREAS, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) policy on free trade acknowledges that, "the imposition of artificial barriers to free and open trade...are deterrents to American economic interests;" and

WHEREAS, a longstanding, close bilateral relationship, codified in the Taiwan Relations Act, has existed between the United States and Taiwan and has proven economically, culturally and strategically important to both countries; and

WHEREAS, Taiwan is a robust democracy, significant American trading partner and important strategic U.S. ally; and

WHEREAS, together, Taiwan and the United States promote a shared belief in freedom, democracy and market principles; and

WHEREAS, Taiwan has consistently ranked among the top 12 US trading partners for over two decades; and

WHEREAS, according to 2008 figures, the United States is Taiwan's third largest trading partner, and Taiwan is America's 12th largest trading partner; and

WHEREAS, a free trade agreement between Taiwan and the United States would build on the existing strong relations between Taiwan and the United States to simultaneously boost Taiwan's security and democracy and serve the broader interests of the United States in the Asia-Pacific region; and

WHEREAS, a free trade agreement between Taiwan and the United States would encourage greater innovation and manufacturing efficiencies by stimulating joint technological development, practical applications and new cooperative ventures; and

WHEREAS, Taiwan has become the world's largest producer of information technology hardware and ranks first in the production of notebook computers, monitors, motherboards and scanners; and

WHEREAS, the United States is a significant supplier of electrical machinery and appliances, transport equipment, scientific instruments and chemical products to Taiwan; and

WHEREAS, a 2002 United States International Trade Commission report found that exports by some sectors of the United States economy, including automobiles, agricultural products and research medicines would increase significantly in percentage terms if the United states entered into a free trade agreement with Taiwan; and

WHEREAS, Taiwan was admitted to the World Trade Organization in January 2002 resulting in reduced Taiwanese tariffs and increased market access for foreign investment; and

WHEREAS, Taiwan, as a member of the World Trade Organization, is entitled to the same rights as any other member nation to enter into free trade agreements with other countries of its choosing; and

WHEREAS, the People's Republic of China is initiating negotiations on an economic cooperation framework agreement with Taiwan; and

WHEREAS, the People's Republic of China and Taiwan have opened air transport links with each other; and

WHEREAS, the European Chamber of Commerce has urged Taiwan to sign a free trade agreement with the European Union; now

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that ALEC supports the negotiation of a free trade agreement between Taiwan and the United States of America; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that ALEC urges the President of the United States to launch immediate negotiations with Taiwan on the establishment of a free trade agreement between our two democracies; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that upon adoption, an official copy of this Resolution be prepared and presented to the President of the United States, to the Chairmen and Ranking members of the U.S. Senate Finance and the U.S. House Ways and Mean Committees, to the U.S. Trade Representative, to the Secretary of Commerce, to the Secretary of Labor and to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.