05.18.22

Lankford, Colleagues Call on Biden to Include Taiwan in IPEF

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) and 51 of his Senate colleagues penned a letter to President Biden to urge the Administration’s inclusion of Taiwan as a partner in the proposed Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF). In addition to recognizing Taiwan’s importance to the US as an important trading partner, the Senators underscored that failing to include Taiwan in IPEF runs counter to US economic interests in the region.

“IPEF can be a meaningful first step for the United States to assure its allies and partners that we are economically engaged in the region, which accounts for sixty percent of the world economy and two-thirds of all economic growth over the last five years. For IPEF to be a useful vehicle to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific, however, we must make sure that all of America’s regional allies and partners are included,” the Senators wrote. “This is just one necessary aspect to ensuring the framework is competitive in a region already saturated with economic treaties and agendas.”

In addition to requesting that the Biden Administration engage with the Foreign Relations Committee on the issue and provide a briefing on economic security policy toward Taiwan, the Senators underscored that excluding Taiwan would significantly distort both regional and global economic architecture.

“The more economic engagement US and allies and partners have with Taiwan, the stronger our collective resilience against coercion,” the Senators added. “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine shows the value of tangible economic support by the United States and like-minded allies and partners, and the same is true for Taiwan. Including Taiwan in the IPEF would be an invaluable signal of our rock-solid commitment to Taiwan and its prosperity and freedom.” 

Joining Lankford in signing the letter were Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jim Risch (R-ID), John Barrasso (R-WY), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Boozman (R-AR), Mike Braun (R-IN), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tom Carper (D-DE), Susan Collins (R-ME), John Cornyn (R-TX), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Steve Daines (R-MT), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), John Hoeven (R-ND), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Patty Murray (D-WA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Rob Portman (R-OH), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Rick Scott (R-FL), Tim Scott (R-SC), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), John Thune (R-SD), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Todd Young (R-IN).

You can view a copy of the letter HERE and below:

Dear Mr. President:

As Congress focuses on boosting the United States’ ability to compete effectively with China, we are glad the administration is advancing components of its Indo-Pacific strategy. However, we remain concerned that Taiwan will not be included in the proposed Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF).

IPEF can be a meaningful first step for the United States to assure its allies and partners that we are economically engaged in the region, which accounts for 60 percent of the world economy and two-thirds of all economic growth over the last five years. For IPEF to be a useful vehicle to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific, however, we must make sure that all of America’s regional allies and partners are included. This is just one necessary aspect to ensure the framework is competitive and effective in shaping regional trade and economic architecture consistent with our interests and values, especially in a region that already has numerous current and proposed trade and economic structures.

As you consult with prospective IPEF partners, we urge you to include Taiwan. Taiwan has long been an important trading partner of the United States, with $114 billion in two-way trade in 2021.  Taiwan is a major hub of the global supply in electronics, computers, and information and communication technologies, and has served a critical role in diversifying the US supply chain. Since 2020, Taiwan and the United States have engaged in the US-Taiwan Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue, covering a broad range of economic issues including 5G networks and telecommunications security, supply chains resiliency, infrastructure cooperation, clean energy, global heath, and science and technology – many of the same issues to be addressed by the proposed IPEF.

Excluding Taiwan from IPEF would significantly distort the regional and global economic architecture, run counter to US economic interests, and allow the Chinese government to claim that the international community does not in fact support meaningful engagement with Taiwan.

It is also critical for US security interests that Taiwan is embedded in the region’s economic architecture. The more economic engagement the United States and allies and partners have with Taiwan, the stronger our collective resilience against coercion. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine shows the value of tangible economic support by the United States and like-minded allies and partners, and the same is true for Taiwan. Including Taiwan in the IPEF would be an invaluable signal of our rock-solid commitment to Taiwan and its prosperity and freedom.

We ask that the administration engage with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on this issue, including a briefing on Taiwan’s status in IPEF, our economic engagement with Taiwan since January 2021, the extent to which bolstering its economic resilience is part of our broader security policy with respect to Taiwan, and any tangible economic goals we are pursuing with Taiwan.

We appreciate your attention to this important issue and look forward to your response. 

Sincerely,