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Washington, D.C. Today, the House passed with a vote of 424 to 0, bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.  The legislation (H.R. 1151) calls for the Secretary of State to endorse Taiwan’s entry into the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Chairman Royce on the bill’s passage:“Despite being home to the 10th largest airport in the world, Taiwan has been excluded from ICAO, an organization dedicated to promoting safe and efficient travel, for more than four decades.  Millions of passengers flying between Taiwan and the U.S. have been greatly disadvantaged by Taiwan’s exclusion.  Passage of today’s important legislation is a significant step towards ensuring that Taiwan’s airports and airlines have access to the latest technologies and aviation standards.  With a key meeting scheduled this fall, now is the time to move on this critical issue, getting Taiwan into ICAO.”

Last year, Chairman Royce successfully championed legislative efforts to grant visa waiver travel from Taiwan to the United States.  In the first four months of 2013, over 80 percent of all visitors from Taiwan travelled visa-free to the U.S.  As a result of this dramatic increase in air traffic, it is more important than ever to help Taiwan gain access to ICAO.  Specifically, the legislation directs the State Department to develop and execute a strategy to secure Taiwan’s entry into ICAO’s triennial Assembly, to be held this September in Montreal, Canada.  It also requires the State Department to actively seek other ICAO member states’ support for Taiwan’s participation.

The text of H.R. 1151 is available HERE.

Prior to the vote, Chairman Royce spoke out in support of the legislation on the House floor.  Video is available HERE: