HomeBudget & Tax NewsGov. Youngkin Signs Executive Order Establishing Trade Office in Taiwan

Gov. Youngkin Signs Executive Order Establishing Trade Office in Taiwan

This will be the commonwealth’s fourth international office

(The Center Square) – Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin took historic steps by signing an executive order establishing a foreign trade office while meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan in Taipei earlier today, kicking off his Asian tour.

This will be the commonwealth’s fourth international office; others are in Japan, South Korea and Germany. Youngkin is scheduled to visit Japan and South Korea during his Asian trip.

During the meeting with Tsai, Youngkin touted Virginia’s longstanding relationship with Taiwan and underscored the importance of maintaining strong ties.

“As a premier partner in the commonwealth’s economic and business ecosystem, I was thrilled to meet with President Tsai to strengthen Virginia’s decades-old partnership with Taiwan,” Youngkin said. “As a former business leader, I appreciate the commitment to excellence that Taiwan demonstrates across sectors. They are an important training partner and model of prosperity for nations across the globe.”

Youngkin’s executive order cited Taiwan as the United States’ second-largest trading partner, highlighting the $730 million worth of products exported to Taiwan in 2022 and $1 billion in imports from the island nation.

“Taiwan is a significant player in cross continental relationships for Virginia. As the fourth fastest-growing source of foreign direct investment in the United States, Taiwanese-owned Virginia companies strengthen the commonwealth’s collaborative business climate,” according to a release from Youngkin’s office.

“Taiwan is a critical partner to Virginia,” the executive order reads. “Attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) to the Commonwealth and aiding Virginia companies in selling their products overseas are critical to the economic prosperity of the Commonwealth.”

Youngkin’s order underscores Taiwan’s rising market share of foreign investment in the country and how “Taiwan will build off this foundation and momentum to help bring investment and jobs to Virginia.”

The order explains that foreign investment includes semiconductor technologies, which having a “secure semiconductor supply chain” is vital to national security.

Virginia is uniquely poised to excel in the advanced technology sector due to our extensive IT infrastructure, a robust, internationally recognized university system primed to advance key technologies and satisfy growing workforce needs,” according to the order. “Additionally, international trade plays an essential role in maintaining the vitality of the Virginia economy.”

Earlier this month, Youngkin applauded the state’s soaring forestry and agriculture exports, which included products sent to Taiwan. Additionally, Taiwan has imported computer and electronic parts. Youngkin hopes “increasing opportunities for international trade with Taiwan in these sectors will position Virginia’s companies for future success.”

The executive order highlighted another considerable coup for Virginia projects underway that will deepen and expand the Port of Virginia in Norfolk. Once completed, the channel will be the deepest port on the East Coast. It will eventually be able to safely handle two-way traffic for “ultra-large container vessels.”

“The existing partnership between Taiwan and Virginia will be further strengthened by the creation of a Virginia-Taiwan Trade Office, and its opening will enable the Commonwealth to better showcase Virginia to prospective investors and businesses, and to further open markets for Virginia products,” the order read.

Youngkin’s glowing remarks and eagerness to strengthen the relationship between the Virginia and Taiwan couldn’t be starker than those with China. The governor has taken a hard line against business partnerships involving Chinese interests.

The governor has been critical of Chinese interests, including TikTok, the sale of farmland to foreign entities tied to China, and talk of building a Chinese battery manufacturing plant for Ford vehicles.

What could be perceived as a swipe at China’s communist government, Youngkin went on to emphasize the state’s and Taiwan’s mutual commitment to Democratic values.

Originally published by The Center Square. Republished with permission.

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For more public policy from The Heartland Institute.

Sarah Roderick-Fitch
Sarah Roderick-Fitch
Sarah Roderick-Fitch is The Center Square’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Editor. She has previously worked as an editor, and has been a contributing writer for several publications. In addition to writing and editing, Sarah spent nearly a decade working for non-profit, public policy organizations in the Washington, DC area.


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