USTBC Comments on Congressional Notification for U.S. Arms Sales to Taiwan

September 25, 2018

Press Release:
September 24, 2018 U.S. Arms Sale to Taiwan

(Arlington, Virginia, September 25, 2018)

The US-Taiwan Business Council today welcomed the decision by the U.S. Department of State to announce its approval of a possible Foreign Military Sales Order (FMSO) to Taiwan for an estimated value of US$330 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) delivered the required certifications notifying Congress of the proposed Taiwan arms sale on September 24, 2018.

The published Congressional Notification (transmittal number 18-09) is for an FMSO II that would provide funds for blanket order requisitions – under a Cooperative Logistics Supply Support Arrangement – for stock replenishment supply of standard spare parts and repair/replace of spare parts in support of the F-16, C-130, F-5, Indigenous Defense Fighter (IDF), all other aircraft systems and subsystems, and other related elements of logistics and program support.

The US-Taiwan Business Council is encouraged by this Congressional notification, which appears to move away from the previous “bundling” method for Taiwan arms sales. Notifying each sale when it is ready is a positive development, and indicates more potential activity at the end of this year and into early 2019. It is the approach the Council has advocated for since the original bundling began in 2008.

Real issues remain, however, with Taiwan’s ability to ask for the defensive systems it wants and needs. Since 2011, U.S. arms sales have focused almost exclusively on sustainment and maintenance of Taiwan’s existing military capabilities. There has seemingly been no willingness by the U.S. to assess new capabilities for Taiwan, with requests for new systems apparently rejected or deterred prior to the initial stages of evaluation.

New arms sales requests by Taiwan should be subject to an interagency assessment that includes the National Security Council, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of State, the Indo-Pacific Command, the American Institute in Taiwan, and other organizations. All such requests should be evaluated on their merits only, with potential Chinese reactions to a sale not a part of the calculus.

“Intelligent” Requests
In speeches and other statements, the State Department has discussed the need for “intelligent” arms sales, which leave unanswered questions both about the criteria for arms sales and the existing process. Is Taiwan free to make any request, or only those deemed “intelligent?” Who makes the determination of what is “intelligent,” and at what stage in the review process does this determination take place?

Council President Rupert Hammond-Chambers noted that “the Trump Administration’s stated policy is that Taiwan may submit a Letter of Request (LoR) for Pricing & Availability (P&A) data for any platform or system Taiwan feels they need to mount a credible defense, and it is entitled to receive a full assessment and timely response to their request by the full interagency review process.”

Related Media

May 20, 2020 Press Releases

USTBC Comments on MK-48 Mod6 ATHW Torpedoes to Taiwan

Press Release: The US-Taiwan Business Council Comments on the Proposed Sale of 18 MK-48 Mod6 Advanced Technology (AT) Heavy Weight Torpedoes (HWT) to Taiwan (Arlington, Virginia, May 20, 2020) The US-Taiwan Business Council today welcomed the announcement of a possible Foreign Military Sale of 18 MK-48 Mod6 Advanced Technology (AT) Heavy Weight Torpedoes (HWT) and […]

September 15, 2020 Press Releases

USTBC Joins the US-Taiwan Bilateral Trade Agreement Coalition

  (Arlington, Virginia and Taipei, Taiwan – September 15, 2020) The US-Taiwan Bilateral Trade Agreement Coalition launched on September 15, 2020. The Coalition will provide a mechanism for businesses and organizations across a wide range of sectors to express their support for negotiating and signing a Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA) between the United States and […]

December 1, 2016 Press Releases

Archived Press Releases – 2013-2016

Archived press releases are available for download as PDF files.   November 1, 2016  —  Taiwan Wireless & Mobility Conference to feature keynotes by Paul Jacobs of Qualcomm and Ming-Hsin Kung of the National Development Council June 23, 2016  —  The US-Taiwan Business Council Welcomed TAITRA Chairman Francis Liang to the 2016 U.S.-Taiwan Business Forum […]

December 1, 2004 Press Releases

Archived Press Releases – 2003-2004

Archived press releases are available for download as PDF files.   November 30, 2004  —  US-Taiwan Business Council Announces Change of Venue for Taiwan + China Semiconductor Industry Outlook 2004 Conference November 4, 2004  —  Impact of Rising China-Taiwan Political Tensions on Semiconductor Industry and Technology Supply Chain to be Featured at US-Taiwan Business Council […]