Hawley Introduces the Taiwan Weapons Exports Act

Thursday, April 07, 2022

Today Senator Hawley (R-Mo.) introduced the Taiwan Weapons Exports Act, which would fast-track delivery of critical weapons to Taiwan by expediting Congressional approval and eliminating administrative roadblocks. 

The threat of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan is growing rapidly. Critical to deterring such an invasion is ensuring Taiwan has the weapons it needs to defend itself, including naval mines, anti-tank missiles, man-portable air defense systems, and other asymmetric defense capabilities. This legislation would help the United States get these weapons to Taiwan as quickly as possible.

“The Biden administration waited for Russia to invade before surging lethal aid to Ukraine,” Senator Hawley said. “We can’t afford to the make same mistake in the Indo-Pacific. That’s why it is so important to fast-track weapons to Taiwan now, while Taiwan still has to time to marshal its defenses and deter a Chinese invasion.” 

The Taiwan Weapons Exports Act would: 

  • Redesignate Taiwan as a member of Country Group A:5 under the Export Administration Regulations alongside other U.S. allies and partners, including NATO member states, Japan, Australia, South Korea, and India.
  • Expedite licensing approval and remove other administrative barriers for arms sales to Taiwan.
  • Reduce the length of Congressional review of arms sales to Taiwan by half.

As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Hawley has led efforts to deter a Chinese invasion of Taiwan and strengthen U.S.-Taiwan relations. Key legislative initiatives include the Arm Taiwan Act of 2021, which creates a new Taiwan Security Assistance Initiative to accelerate Taiwan’s deployment of critical asymmetric defense capabilities.

Senator Hawley has also introduced two other critical pieces of Taiwan-related legislation: the Taiwan Defense Act, which would require the U.S. Department of Defense to prioritize strengthening deterrence by ensuring American forces maintain their ability to defeat a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, and the Taiwan Preclearance Act, which affirms Taiwan’s role as a critical partner in the pursuit of a free and open Indo-Pacific and establishes U.S. Customs and Border Protection preclearance facilities in Taiwan as a way to increase U.S. Taiwan business, cultural, and tourism exchanges. 

View full legislative text of the Taiwan Weapons Exports Act here.