MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2006 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Representative Compretta, Dedeaux, Zuber

House Resolution 27

(As Adopted by House)

A RESOLUTION To commend the Republic of China (Taiwan) for its close economic and business ties with the state of mississippi and to urge and request the president to direct the United States Trade Representative to negotiate a free trade agreement between the United States and Taiwan.

WHEREAS, the State of Mississippi has a strong and vibrant economic relationship with Taiwan; and

WHEREAS, other states in the region, such as Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, also have an economic interest in a free trade agreement between the United States and Taiwan; and

WHEREAS, the agriculture and manufacturing sectors of the Mississippi economy, most notably the computer and electronic products, chemicals, and machine industries, would benefit significantly if the United States entered into a free trade agreement with Taiwan; and

WHEREAS, a free trade agreement between the United States and Taiwan would substantially reduce or eliminate most import quotas, duties, and other trade barriers, expanding market opportunities for manufactured goods and agricultural products from Mississippi and the entire United States; and

WHEREAS, the United States has completed or is in the process of negotiating free trade agreements with several countries and regions; and

WHEREAS, a free trade agreement with Taiwan is appropriate because Taiwan is already the United States' eighth largest trading partner and the sixth most important destination of United States agricultural exports; Taiwan's economy is thriving and robust; and Taiwan maintains long-standing educational and cultural ties with the United States; and

WHEREAS, Taiwan was admitted to the World Trade Organization (WTO) on January 1, 2001, and a free trade agreement between the United States and Taiwan would extend the coverage of WTO agreements to products, sectors, and conditions of trade not adequately covered, as well as providing a platform to address issues such as Taiwan's tariff rate on agricultural imports from the United States, which currently averages over 15%; and

WHEREAS, Public Law 107-210, the Trade Act of 2002, gives the President the authority to enter into trade agreements with foreign countries whenever the President determines that one or more existing duties or other import restrictions of any foreign

country or the United States are unduly burdening and restricting the foreign trade of the United States; and

WHEREAS, President George W. Bush, speaking before the historic signing of the United States Australia Free Trade Agreement in 2004, emphasized his support of free and open trade because "it has the power to create new wealth for whole nations and new opportunities for millions of people" and "has a record of creating jobs, raising living standards, and lowering consumer prices":

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby commend the Republic of China (Taiwan) for its close economic and business ties with the State of Mississippi and respectfully urge and request that the President of the United States extend the benefits of free trade by directing the United States Trade Representative to negotiate a free trade agreement between the United States and Taiwan.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to the President of the United States, the United States Trade Representative, the members of the Mississippi congressional delegation and to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.