Authorizes Sale of Vessels to Taiwan 

Washington, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed with overwhelming bipartisan support H.R. 3470, the Taiwan Relations Act Affirmation and Naval Vessel Transfer Act of 2014, introduced by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The legislation reaffirms U.S. commitment to the Taiwan Relations Act and strengthens ties with key U.S. security partners by transferring ships that meet shared maritime security requirements.  Specifically, the legislation authorizes the transfer by sale of four Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates to Taiwan.  

Video of Chairman Royce’s floor statement is available HERE.

Chairman Royce said:  “For 35 years, the Taiwan Relations Act has helped maintain peace and security across the Taiwan Strait and the Asia-Pacific region.  During this time, Taiwan has undergone a monumental transformation from grinding poverty and dictatorship to a vibrant, multiparty democracy.  America’s support for Taiwan has allowed this island nation to realize its full potential.  It is now more important than ever that we reaffirm our strong commitment to Taiwan and the Taiwan Relations Act. 

“Taiwan is a beacon of hope and democracy in a part of the world that still yearns for the basic freedoms that Americans and Taiwanese enjoy on a daily basis.  As we commemorate the 35th Anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act, let us speak with one voice and offer our strong support of Taiwan. 

“In addition to supporting Taiwan, this legislation also authorizes the transfer of excess, decommissioned naval vessels to Thailand and Mexico.  The bill also makes long overdue improvements to the timeliness of U.S. arms sales to friends and allies, while maintaining appropriate Congressional oversight.”  

Additionally, H.R. 3470:

  • stresses the importance of maintaining peace in the Taiwan Strait, and deepening U.S.-Taiwan trade and security relations;
  • benefits the U.S. taxpayer by reducing the Navy’s storage costs and supports U.S. jobs through ship refurbishments performed in U.S. shipyards;
  • improves the timeliness of U.S. arms sales to friends and allies while maintaining appropriate Congressional oversight over U.S. conventional arms transfer policy;
  • makes technical amendments to update certain notification and reporting requirements under the Arms Export Control Act.

NOTE:  Last year, President Obama signed into law legislation authored by Chairman Royce which, for the first time since 1976, helps Taiwan participate in the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).  Chairman Royce’s legislation is the first Taiwan-specific law in more than a decade.  Last month, the Committee held a hearing entitled “The Promise of the Taiwan Relations Act,” which examined the progress made in U.S.-Taiwan relations over the past 35 years.  Chairman Royce recently visited Taiwan, where he worked to bolster the already strong U.S.-Taiwan relationship.  It marked Chairman Royce’s second visit to Taiwan in the past 13 months.