The US Senate passed the America Competes Act on Monday. The act is aimed at increasing the US’s competitiveness and has many clauses supporting closer ties with Taiwan. The Senate vote was 68 for and 28 against. The act was passed by the house on February 4 with 222 voting for and 210 against.
In regards to Taiwan, the America Competes Act calls on the US State Department and other government organizations to stop using “Taiwan authorities” to describe the Taiwan government. It also prohibits the US government from limiting direct and regular interaction between US and Taiwan officials.
It also calls on the US Secretary of State to consider setting up a United States-Taiwan Cultural Exchange Foundation. It also calls to establish a Taiwan Fellowship that brings US officials to Taiwan to study Chinese for two years.
The act says the Secretary of State must remove any limits on the use of symbols representing Taiwan by diplomatic and military officials from Taiwan. This includes the use of the flag and military symbols.
The House version of the act called for the renaming of Taiwan’s office in the US to Taiwan Representative Office. This was not included in the Senate version passed on Monday.
The Senate version of this act changed the content to the US Innovation and Competition Act which was passed in the Senate in June 2021. The House and Senate will need to discuss how to merge the two acts before passing it on for President Joe Biden to sign.