Moore sponsors DETER Act to prevent China’s invasion of Taiwan

U.S. Rep. Blake Moore (R-UT) recently offered legislation aimed at preventing a Chinese military invasion of Taiwan.

“There are times for unpredictability in matters of foreign policy and there are times for telling our adversaries what the consequences of their actions would look like,” Rep. Moore said on Monday. “I am proud to use my position on the House Ways and Means Committee to advance U.S. national security through trade policy.”

Specifically, the Deterring Economic Aggression Through Retaliation (DETER) Act, H.R. 8482, which the congressman sponsored on May 21, would deter conflict in the Taiwan Strait by establishing conditions for suspending normal trade relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

For example, China’s Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status with the United States would be revoked if the PRC engages in an act of military aggression or serious economic coercion, such as a blockade, that violates the sovereignty or territorial integrity of Taiwan, according to a bill summary provided by Rep. Moore’s staff.

PNTR provides foreign countries “most favored nation status” in U.S. trade law, giving them preferential access to the U.S. market with fewer tariff barriers.  

If enacted, H.R. 8482 also would require the U.S. Trade Representative and other agencies to conduct a regular assessment of current U.S. trade and supply chain vulnerabilities that would be affected by PNTR suspension, along with proposals to mitigate those risks and reduce reliance on China in the meantime, the summary says. 

“Xi Jinping has openly stated that he aims to conquer and ‘reunify’ Taiwan and has built up China’s military posture for this very purpose,” said Rep. Moore. “A crisis in the Taiwan Strait, in which China breaks the first island chain in the Indo-Pacific and chokes off international trade and critical materials, would be catastrophic for American families, jobs, and livelihoods.”

The lawmaker added that it’s time “to send Communist China a clear message that changes their calculus and prevents an invasion.”

The bill is under consideration in the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the U.S. House Rules Committee.