CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Monday, April 7, 2014, the House will consider H.R. 3470, the Taiwan Relations Act Affirmation and Naval Vessel Transfer Act of 2014, as amended, under a suspension of the rules. H.R. 3470 was introduced on November 13, 2013 by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) and referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, which ordered the bill reported by unanimous consent.
Title I of H.R. 3470 reaffirms the importance of the Taiwan Relations Act, and authorizes the sale of four Oliver Perry Class guided missile frigates to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office of the United States of the Taiwan Relations Act (22 U.S.C. 3309(a)). The authority to transfer these ships under the Act will expire at the end of a three year period beginning on the date of enactment of this legislation. Title II permits the transfer, on a grant basis, of two Oliver Perry Class guided missile frigates to Mexico, and two Oliver Perry Class guided missile frigates to Thailand. The authority of these transfers is also subject to a three year period. This legislation further states that the value of such vessels transferred on a grant basis shall not be counted against the aggregate value of excess defense articles transferred to countries in any Fiscal Year under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961. Moreover, transfer costs will be charged to the countries in which the ships will be transferred and the countries are required to have necessary vessel repair and refurbishment carried out at U.S. shipyards to the maximum extent practicable.
Title III amends the Arms Control Act to update notification and reporting requirements under the Arms Control Export Act, and improves the timeliness of U.S. arms sales to allies while maintaining Congressional oversight over U.S. conventional arms sale policy.
The Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) was signed into law on April 10, 1979, as part of the U.S. effort to establish a diplomatic relationship with the People’s Republic of China (PRC), under the expectation that the future of Taiwan would be determined by peaceful means. The TRA also established the policy of the U.S. to provide Taiwan with defensive arms and to preserve and promote extensive commercial, cultural, and other relations with Taiwan. The TRA also provided for the establishment of the American Institute in Taiwan to help in the country’s self-defense. H.R. 3470 recognizes the importance of the TRA and reaffirms the commitment of the U.S. to Taiwan.
CBO estimates that H.R. 3470 would reduce direct spending by $40 million over the 2014-2024 period. Enacting this legislation would not affect revenues, meaning that it would have and insignificant effect on spending subject to appropriations.
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