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Congressman Randy Hultgren

Representing the 14th District of ILLINOIS

Hultgren to Taiwanese Officials: Illinois is Open for Business

Sep 2, 2016
Press Release

Washington, DC — On a trade visit to Taiwan last week, Congressman Randy Hultgren (IL-14) pushed for closer ties between the island nation and the state of Illinois, stressing mutual business, agricultural and scientific partnerships. Rep. Hultgren and the congressional delegation met with President Tsai Ing-wen and other key Taiwanese government officials throughout the week, including Su Jia-Chyuan, President of Taiwan’s legislature and former Minister of Agriculture; Annette Lu, former Vice-President of Taiwan; Leo Chen-jan Lee, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, which governs trade; and Yang Hung-duen, noted physicist and Minister of Science and Technology.

Echoing Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s calls for U.S.-Taiwanese trade cooperation, Rep. Hultgren made a strong case for Illinois’ robust agricultural sector and commercial history. He also highlighted deepening collaboration between Taiwanese scientific institutions and the 14th District’s own high-physics national laboratory, Fermilab.

Rep. Hultgren presents gift of a U.S. Congressional plate to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen
(Rep. Hultgren presents gift of a U.S. Congressional plate to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen)

“Taiwan and Illinois have a lot to offer each other and we’ve been working together for decades to help bring prosperity to families on both sides of the Pacific,” said Rep. Hultgren. “Illinois’ corn, soybean growers and pork producers are unparalleled worldwide, and Taiwan has always been a crucial partner for us. I carried official letters inviting high-level officials to visit Illinois in 2017 and buy agricultural products. I am encouraged about our work together in the exciting field of neutrinos and high-energy physics. It was an honor meeting with the President of Taiwan and experiencing this wonderful country as we worked to deepen our cooperation and help our two peoples flourish together.”

Illinois’ relationship with Taiwan is of growing importance to both parties. Highlights include:

  • Taiwan is Illinois’ sixth largest Asian export market, accounting for more than $633 million in Illinois exports last year.
  • Taiwanese industry leaders committed in 2015 to buying more than $1 billion of U.S. corn products by 2017.
  • The Illinois Soybean Association recognizes Taiwan as one of its top three export markets.
  • Taiwanese trade with the state continues to grow more important as the mainland Chinese economy (which greatly influences the economy of Taiwan) slows down and Taiwan relies more on American exporters.
  • Illinois’ Fermilab partnered with Taiwanese universities in the 1990s to discover the top quark, the heaviest subatomic particle yet found in nature.
  • Fermilab engineers play an important role in Taiwanese semiconductor research.

Following are letters Rep. Hultgren delivered to Taiwanese officials on behalf of Illinois agricultural producers and research facilities: