HOUSE RESOLUTION 12
(By Delegate Graves and Linville)
[February 8, 2022]
A resolution supporting the signing of a Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA) between the United States and the Republic of China (Taiwan), strengthening the sisterhood partnership between the State of West Virginia and Taiwan, and reaffirming support for Taiwan’s meaningful participation and contributions in international organizations.
Whereas, The Republic of China (Taiwan) and the United States have enjoyed a longstanding partnership and share the common values of freedom, democracy and human rights. In 2021, Taiwan was ranked as the 2nd freest country in Asia by Freedom House, and was ranked 6th among 178 world economies in terms of economic freedom by the Heritage Foundation, showcasing Taiwan as a beacon of democracy in East Asia. The West Virginia Legislature supports more democratic countries, such as Lithuania, to pursue closer and greater cooperation with Taiwan; and
Whereas, The State of West Virginia is proud of the sisterhood partnership it has enjoyed with Taiwan since August 4, 1980, marked by strong bilateral trade, investment, educational and cultural exchanges. In 2022, the State of West Virginia celebrates the 42nd anniversary of the sisterhood partnership with Taiwan and looks forward to an even closer relationship between West Virginia and Taiwan in the future; and
Whereas, The United States and Taiwan have forged ever stronger economic relations over the last four decades; with the United States now Taiwan’s 2nd largest trading partner and with Taiwan now the 8th largest trading partner of the United States, West Virginia welcomes all opportunities to enhance an even closer economic partnership and supports Taiwan’s efforts to secure the signing of a U.S.-Taiwan Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA) to increase West Virginia exports to Taiwan; and
Whereas, In 2020, the trade volume between West Virginia and Taiwan amounted to nearly $90 million and Taiwan is our 3rd largest source of import and 7th largest export market in Asia, demonstrating that Taiwan is a remarkable trading partner of West Virginia. West Virginia looks forward to reopening its trade office in Taiwan to bring in more Taiwanese investment such as the $34 million project initiated by the Far Eastern New Century Corporation in 2018; and
Whereas, In December, 2020, the United States and Taiwan signed an MOU on International Education Cooperation, aiming at enhancing the bilateral cooperation on international education, particularly in the area of language education. West Virginia encourages U.S. universities to partner and work with Taiwan and Taiwanese universities in order to promote a positive learning environment and to enhance comprehensive Mandarin language education for American students, as Taiwan has proven itself to be a valuable center of learning for international students; and
Whereas, Taiwan has proven to be a very valuable contributor in a broad range of global issues, and it is necessary for Taiwan to be granted meaningful participation in various intergovernmental organizations and mechanisms such as the World Health Organization (WHO), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL); therefore, be it
Resolved by the House of Delegates:
That the West Virginia House of Delegates supports Taiwan’s efforts to secure the signing of a BTA with the United States; commends Taiwan’s vibrant full-fledged democracy; reaffirms its commitment to strengthen and deepen the sisterhood partnership with Taiwan; and continues to support Taiwan’s meaningful participation and contributions in the above-mentioned and other international organizations which help safeguard the health, safety and well-being of its people, and supports its aspiration to make more contributions in the international community; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates forward a copy of this resolution to Governor James C. Justice, II of West Virginia, and another sent to Ms. Bi-khim Hsiao, Representative of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States.