Congress, Trump, and Taiwan was a Global Taiwan Institute and Foreign Policy Initiative joint briefing, held on Capitol Hill on May 8, 2017. Amb. Stephen M. Young (ret) offered opening remarks, and the panel consisted of Christopher Griffin (FPI), Christopher Nelson (the Nelson Report), Walter Lohman (Heritage), and Igor Khrestin (Sen. Cory Gardner). GTI executive director Russell Hsiao served as moderator.
Unlike any other bilateral relationship, U.S.-Taiwan relations are governed by a specific law, the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979 (TRA). Beyond the normal struggle between the executive and legislative branches over foreign policy, the TRA defines the broad interests and policy objectives that successive American presidents have been expected to pursue in this relationship. While administrations have interpreted these commitments and obligations differently, Congress has worked to strengthen relations between Washington and Taipei. How will President Trump interpret the TRA? Will he subordinate relations with Taiwan in the pursuit of greater Chinese cooperation on trade or the North Korean nuclear crisis? How will Congress exert itself as the steward of this law and relations with Taiwan?
Congress, Trump, and Taiwan featured a lively discussion of these and other questions on related topics, bringing together current and former senior Congressional staffers to assess the prospects for US-Taiwan relations under the new administration.
Note: Parts of the recording may be difficult to hear, as we were unable to plug into the House A/V system. We have done our best to edit the recording to amplify sound quality.