Cornyn, Menendez Push to Mandate Sale of F-16 Fighters to Taiwan
Legislation Would Bolster Ability of Our Longstanding Strategic Partner to Defend Itself
WASHINGTON –U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today introduced legislation to require the Obama Administration to sell 66 new F-16C/D multirole fighter jets to Taiwan. The Taiwan Airpower Modernization Act of 2011 will help bring the United States into compliance with its legal obligations under the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979 to provide Taiwan with the military equipment it needs to maintain its self-defense capabilities.
“This sale is a win-win, in strengthening the national security of our friend Taiwan as well as our own, and supporting tens of thousands of jobs in the U.S.,” said Sen. Cornyn. “Saying no here would mean granting Communist China substantial sway over American foreign policy, putting us on a very slippery slope.”
“Providing the military resources Taiwan needs is in the vital security interest of Taiwan, the national security interest of the United States, and is compelled by the Taiwan Relations Act,” Sen. Menendez said. “Taiwanese pilots flying Taiwanese fighter aircraft manufactured in the United States represent the best first line of defense for our democratic ally, and delaying the decision to sell F-16s to Taiwan could result in the closure of the F-16 production line, which would cost New Jersey 750 manufacturing jobs.”
Several recent letters to the President have demonstrated overwhelming bipartisan congressional support for the sale of new F-16C/Ds to Taiwan. On August 1, 181 bipartisan House members sent a letter to President Obama calling on him to approve the sale of F-16 C/Ds to Taiwan. On May 26 a bipartisan letter signed by 45 Senators called on President Obama him to quickly notify Congress of the sale of 66 F-16C/Ds to Taiwan. Two other Senators have also written letters to the Administration in support of this sale.
A recent study done by a private consulting firm estimates that the sale of 66 new F-16 aircraft to Taiwan would generate approximately $8.7 billion in economic output and nearly 88,000 ‘person-years’ of employment across the U.S.
Text of bill
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