Leading Delegation to Taiwan and South Korea, Duckworth Works to Expand Illinois’s Economic Partnerships in Asia
[SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) led a Congressional delegation to Taiwan and South Korea this week as part of her continuing efforts to help strengthen economic ties between our people, specifically highlighting how Illinois is uniquely positioned for greater investment and increased exports with international partners as a hub of agriculture, manufacturing and technology. Duckworth, a member of the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, met with multiple business, government and trade leaders including Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, Premier Su Tseng-chang and Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu as well as South Korea’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Park Jin and Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Ahn Duk-geun. Photos from the visit are available here.
“I was pleased to visit Taiwan and South Korea, two partners that are vitally important to Illinois’s economy, to help develop economic relationships and partnerships throughout the region,” Duckworth said. “Illinois is uniquely positioned for companies looking to expand manufacturing in the U.S., and I had a number of positive conversations discussing how we can work together to bolster trade and support good-paying, local jobs in the agriculture and tech sectors while better protecting our nation from supply chain disruptions.”
The delegation’s visit also included meetings in Taiwan with Economic Minister Wang Mei-hua and with the U.S. Grains Council, U.S. Soybean Export Council, U.S. Meat Export Federation and American Chamber of Commerce in South Korea. This trip builds upon the Senator’s visit to Taiwan and South Korea last year. South Korea and Taiwan are both strong trade partners of the United States, with Illinois exporting approximately $1.1 billion to South Korea in 2019 in machine parts, telecom equipment, agriculture and more, and approximately $667 million to Taiwan.
Duckworth was joined by Bria Scudder, Illinois First Assistant Deputy Governor for Public Safety, Infrastructure, Environment and Energy; Christy George, Illinois First Assistant Deputy Governor for Budget and Economy.
In addition to economic issues, in Taiwan Duckworth also reiterated the United States’ support for Taiwan’s security and their efforts to defend themselves against growing threats from China, including by bolstering its reserve forces through the newly-launched All-Out Defense Mobilization Agency (ADMA). Last week, Duckworth introduced the bipartisan Strengthen Taiwan’s Security Act to better support this important strategic partner by assessing opportunities to deliver lethal aid to Taiwan, enhancing Taiwan’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets and increasing needed prepositioned stocks in the region. When the bill was introduced, Duckworth said:
“Taiwan is an important strategic partner for the U.S. in the Indo-Pacific region, and, as China continues its destabilizing policies, I am strongly committed to helping Taiwan develop its military defenses. That’s one of the reasons I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation that would strengthen our support for Taiwan and provide it with the tools it needs to protect itself from any unwarranted attack.”
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