Prof. Julian Ku Writes That Congress Can Guide US Taiwan Policy Absent One From the President

Julian Ku, Maurice A. Deane Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law, Faculty Director of International Programs

Julian Ku, the Maurice A. Deane Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law, wrote the post “With the Presidency in Turmoil, Congress Will Have to Guide U.S. Taiwan Policy” on May 19 on the influential Lawfare blog.

He explains that, even though the Trump administration has yet to develop its own policy on Taiwan, Congress has the means to guide U.S. Taiwan policy — the Taiwan Relations Act, or TRA, which has been in force for close to four decades.

After reviewing the main provisions of the TRA, Professor Ku concludes: “The TRA means that regular arms sales and a security guarantee against an unprovoked Chinese attack on Taiwan is the baseline of U.S. policy.”

In most areas of foreign policy, Congress is weak because the statements of individual members do not necessarily reflect the views of the institution as a whole. But in contrast with other areas of foreign policy, Congress as a whole (and the president) have set forth a fairly detailed and authoritative statement of policy in the Taiwan Relations Act. Enacted in the wake of the U.S. decision to normalize relations with China in 1979, the TRA has successfully guided U.S. Taiwan policy for nearly 40 years.

Read the full post on the Lawfare website.