R 101
2015 -- S 0142
Enacted 03/06/2015

J O I N T   R E S O L U T I O N

Introduced By: Senators Picard, Crowley, Cote, and Lombardo
Date Introduced: January 22, 2015

     WHEREAS, The United States and the Republic of China (Taiwan) share a most
important relationship supported by our common values of freedom, democracy, rule of law, and
a free market economy; and
     WHEREAS, President Ma Ying-jeou has worked tirelessly to uphold democratic
principles in Taiwan, ensure the prosperity of Taiwan’s 23 million people, promote Taiwan’s
international standing, and further improve relations between the United States and Taiwan; and
     WHEREAS, Taiwan and the United States share the common goal of peace in the East
China Sea, and Taiwan proposed an East China Sea Peace Initiative on August 5, 2012, urging all
parties concerned to exercise restraint, avoid actions that could escalate confrontation in the
region, shelve disputes, not abandon dialogue, and observe international law to resolve disputes in
a peaceful manner; and
     WHEREAS, The United States and Taiwan, and especially Rhode Island, share a
historically close relationship, marked by strong bilateral trade, educational and cultural
exchange, scientific and technological interests, and tourism; and
     WHEREAS, Taiwan has been a member of the United States Visa Waiver Program since
November 1, 2012, reflecting the friendship, trust, and cooperation shared between our two
countries, and making travel between Taiwan and the United States for business and tourism even
more convenient; and
     WHEREAS, The United States ranks as Taiwan’s 3rd largest trading partner, and Taiwan
is the 10th largest trading partner of the United States with bilateral trade in goods and services
from January to November, 2014, between the United States and Taiwan amounting to $61.8
billion. New England exported $1 billion in goods to Taiwan of which Rhode Island exported $81
million in goods, mostly primary metal manufacturing, manufactured commodities, machinery,
and chemicals and Taiwan is Rhode Island's 2nd largest export market in Asia, and 6th largest
export market in the world; and
     WHEREAS, Talks on the Taiwan-United States Trade and Investment Framework
Agreement (TIFA) resumed on March 10, 2013, and negotiations for a Bilateral Investment
Agreement (BIA) between Taiwan and the United States is an important step towards
strengthening bilateral trade and paving the way for entering into a Free Trade Agreement (FTA)
between our countries, thereby increasing Rhode Island’s exports to Taiwan and creating greater
bilateral investment and technical collaboration; and
     WHEREAS, The Asia-Pacific is the largest market in the world for United States exports
and the share of Rhode Island exported goods bound for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
countries is 40 percent, and Rhode Island jobs supported by trade with TPP countries is estimated
to be 51,200, with 1,694 companies exporting goods from Rhode Island in 2012, and 15 TPP
companies having investments in Rhode Island; and
     WHEREAS, Taiwan has attended the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
Assembly as a special guest since 2013, and it remains in the interest of the traveling public that
Taiwan be included in the ICAO because Taiwan is a key transport hub in the Asia-Pacific region
and the Taipei Flight Information Region (TAIPEI FIR) under Taiwan's jurisdiction covers an
area of 176,000 square nautical miles with 1.35 million controlled flights with over 40 million
travelers passing through annually, and Taiwan reiterates its commitment to ICAO standards and
seeks to expand its meaningful participation in the ICAO, including attending technical and
regional meetings, and related activities; and
     WHEREAS, The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
is the world’s key instrument to deal with climate change and a concerted global effort to combat
the challenges posed by climate change requires that Taiwan also be included in the work of the
UNFCCC, and Taiwan has expressed a keen interest to participate in the global effort to address
climate change; now, therefore be it
     RESOLVED, That this General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island and Providence
Plantations hereby reaffirms the friendship between Rhode Island and the Republic of China
(Taiwan), and commends Taiwan’s role as peacemaker in the East China Sea. We furthermore
urge the signing of a United States-Taiwan Bilateral Investment Agreement (BIA) and Free Trade
Agreement so as to further strengthen Rhode Island-Taiwan trade relations, and support Taiwan’s
participation in international organizations and agreements, including the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change, the ICAO, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership; and be
it further
     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to
transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to the Honorable Barack Obama, President of the
United States; the Rhode Island Congressional Delegation; Governor Gina Raimondo; President
Ma Ying-jeou, on behalf of the 23 million citizens of Taiwan; and Scott Lai, Director-General of
the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Boston.