Washington, D.C. – Today, President Obama signed into law legislation authored by U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.  Royce’s legislation, H.R. 1151, calls for the Secretary of State to endorse Taiwan’s entry into the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).  Royce issued the following statement on the new law:

“I authored this important legislation in order to  strengthen the safety of air travel between the United States and Taiwan.  For more than 40 years, Taiwan has not been a part of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), an international organization dedicated to improving the safety of civil aviation worldwide.  The President’s signature today marks a tremendous step towards Taiwan’s inclusion in ICAO.” 

“Last year, I led the successful effort to include Taiwan in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program.  As a result, the number of passengers and flights from Taiwan has increased exponentially.  Participation in ICAO will dramatically streamline Taiwan’s ability to access air safety information and is a prerequisite to allowing real-time communications between regulatory authorities.”

Note:  This is the first Taiwan-related legislation to be signed into law by the President in over a decade. In the first four months of 2013, following Chairman Royce successfully championing legislative efforts to grant visa waiver travel from Taiwan to the United States, over 80 percent of all visitors from Taiwan travelled visa-free to the U.S.  As a result of a dramatic increase in air traffic, it is more important than ever to help Taiwan gain access to ICAO.  Specifically, this new law 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.