The Iowa House and Senate this week passed resolutions stressing the importance of Iowa’s trade relationship with Taiwan.
Representative Deborah Berry, a Democrat from Waterloo, read from the resolution: “Taiwan shares with the United States and the State of Iowa the common values of freedom, democracy and human rights and a commitment to the rule of law.”
Student protestors barricaded themselves inside Taiwan’s parliament this week to protest a pending trade deal with China. Critics say the deal will endanger Taiwan’s democratic traditions and divert capital investment to mainland China. There was no mention of the so-called “Sunflower Revolution” protests in the Iowa legislature this week, however. An official from Taiwan’s diplomatic post in Chicago spoke to state senators in Des Moines, stressing Taiwan’s desire to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade pact that includes the U.S. as well as Australia.
“Taiwan and the U.S. are great and strong economic partners,” said Director General Baushuan Ger of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Chicago. “…We believe that trade and investment between our two countries will increase…and I believe Iowa will benefit accordingly.”
The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal also includes Mexico and Canada as well as Japan and Vietnam. The South American countries of Chile and Peru are part of it, too.
Last month officials from Taiwan and China held government-to-government talks for the first time since 1949. Taiwan is a former dictatorship that made a peaceful transition to democracy in the late 1980s. Taiwan and China have been ruled separately since the Communists took power on the mainland 65 years ago. However, China considers Taiwan a renegade province.