Blackburn, Colleagues Introduce Legislation Authorizing Defense Lend-Lease With Taiwan
July 29, 2022
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla.), and Representative Michelle Steel (R-Calif.) introduced the Taiwan Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act. This legislation will support the United States’ partnership with Taiwan by authorizing a defense lend or lease program with the Government of Taiwan.
In 1941, the Lend-Lease Act authorized President Franklin D. Roosevelt to lend or lease, rather than sell, war supplies to any nation deemed vital to the defense of the United States. These supplies included warships and warplanes, weapons, provisions, and raw materials.
“Taiwan is our greatest partner in the Indo-Pacific region, and their continued sovereignty is essential to challenging the New Axis of Evil,” said Senator Blackburn. “I am leading the effort alongside Representative Steel to empower our partner in their defense of Democracy. Taiwan should know that the United States will support them with defense supplies – including weapons and machinery – regardless of what the Chinese Communist Party says. Our legislation will proactively strategize U.S. defense policy in support of the Taiwanese people amid growing threats from Beijing.”
Senator Rick Scott said, “It is in the best interest of America’s national security to arm Taiwan and ensure it has the capacity to defend itself. The Taiwanese government is one of our most important partners in the Indo-Pacific, a shining example of democracy next door to Xi's tyranny, and a supporter of its like-minded neighbors in the face of threats from the Chinese Communist Party. I’m proud to join my colleagues on this good bill to strengthen Taiwanese forces and again show that we refuse to bow to Xi Jinping’s hostile threats.”
“The introduction of this bill comes just days after the people of Taiwan had to participate in more air raid drills in the event of an attack from the Chinese Communist Party. The CCP continues to intimidate and pressure our ally and the United States should always be on the side of freedom and democracy. I’m proud to lead this bipartisan bill in Congress to show the CCP that we will not back down from supporting our allies,” said Representative Michelle Steel.
Representative Bi-khim Hsiao said, “We appreciate Congress’ effort to seek creative avenues to strengthen Taiwan’s defense capabilities. Taiwan is determined to defend our freedom and democratic way of life, and we will continue to work with the U.S. and like-minded partners to uphold the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”
This bill will help to strengthen Taipei’s defensive capabilities while protecting the Taiwans and American citizens residing on the island from potential aggression carried out by the CCP’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Specifically, this bill:
- Authorizes the administration to lend or lease defense articles to Taipei;
- Requires a report on determinations of defense needs of Taiwan;
- Defines and clarifies what the means of aggression by the PLA might look like; and
- Establishes expedited procedures to ensure the timely delivery of defense articles loaned or leased to Taiwan under this bill.