senate resolution no.52

Senators Runestad, Chang, Wojno, McCann, Webber, Johnson, Theis, Bellino, Shink and Bayer offered the following resolution:

A resolution to express our commitment to strengthening and deepening the ties between the state of Michigan and Taiwan, and to support Taiwan’s meaningful participation in and contributions to international organizations.

Whereas, The United States and Taiwan have strong ties based on shared ideals and robust bilateral trade. Taiwan shares values of freedom, democracy, human rights, rule of law, peace, and prosperity with the United States and the state of Michigan. In 2021, the United States ranked as Taiwan’s second-largest trading partner, while Taiwan was the eighth-largest trading partner of the United States, counting the European Union as a single trading partner. The countries shared 113.9 billion dollars in two-way goods trade and 19.8 billion dollars in two-way services trade in that year; and

Whereas, Taiwan is a particularly important trade partner for our nation’s agricultural industry. Taiwan imported 3.9 billion dollars’ worth of agricultural products from the United States in 2021, making it the sixth-largest market that year for United States food and agricultural products overall. Examining individual agricultural products, Taiwan was the seventh-largest market for United States soybeans and corn in 2021. Due to our high-quality produce, the United States remains one of Taiwan’s largest sources of agricultural products, supplying more than one-fifth of Taiwan’s total agricultural imports in 2020; and

Whereas, The state of Michigan and Taiwan have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship with strong bilateral trade and a long history of educational and cultural exchanges. Taiwan was Michigan’s tenth-largest export market in Asia in 2022, with over 313 million dollars’ worth of Michigan goods exported to Taiwan that year. The Michigan Department of Education and the Taiwanese Ministry of Education have had an English and Chinese language teacher exchange program since 2006. The Taiwan Friendship Caucus in the Michigan Legislature exists to strengthen ties between our governments, our economies, and our people. To ensure this relationship remains strong, Michigan businesses should increase their economic engagement with Taiwan; and

Whereas, The United States could take additional steps to strengthen bilateral trade with Taiwan, which would also enhance Taiwan’s trade with the state of Michigan. Trade could be facilitated if the United States entered into a bilateral trade agreement and an avoidance of double taxation agreement with Taiwan. Taiwan could also be included in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF), a partnership between many Indo-Pacific nations and the United States that was created to strengthen economic cooperation. The United States invited other Indo-Pacific partners to join the IPEF in May 2022, and Taiwan should be invited to and included in this partnership; and

Whereas, In conducting business with Taiwan, Michigan businesses should refer to Taiwan as “Taiwan.” In 1979, the United States established a robust partnership with Taiwan by enacting the Taiwan Relations Act. This statute refers to “the governing authorities on Taiwan” as “Taiwan.” Furthermore, the act states: “Whenever the laws of the United States refer or relate to foreign countries, nations, states, governments, or similar entities, such terms shall include and such laws shall apply with respect to Taiwan.” Michigan businesses should follow federal practice and use the name Taiwan as well; and

Whereas, Taiwan has adopted a policy of “steadfast diplomacy” in its foreign relations. This policy “aims at mutual benefit and peace, creating sustainable partnerships with diplomatic allies, and strengthening substantive ties in multiple fields with friendly and like-minded countries.” Taiwan is clearly willing to collaborate with the world to deal with global challenges and seek a brighter future together; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate, That we express our commitment to strengthening and deepening the ties between the state of Michigan and Taiwan; and be it further

Resolved, That we support Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organizations that impact the health, safety, and well-being of the people of Taiwan, and support Taiwan’s aspiration to make more contributions in international societies.