World News

Congress launches effort to help allies like Taiwan get military equipment ‘as quickly as possible’

The House Foreign Services Committee is forming a bipartisan task force to “modernize U.S. foreign military sales” that are “plagued with delays” to deliver military equipment to key allies like Taiwan “as quickly as possible.”

Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, announced Tuesday that House Foreign Affairs Committee will assemble a bipartisan Technical, Industrial, and Governmental Engagement for Readiness (TIGER) Task Force to rapidly supply allies with weapons. 

“Our partners, like Taiwan, order American military equipment because they need it. They should receive that hardware as quickly as possible,” said Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., who is co-leading the task force.


Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, left, attends a luncheon with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, during a visit by a congressional delegation to Taiwan in Taipei, Taiwan, April 8. (Taiwan Presidential Office via AP, File)

The committee’s formation comes after Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that U.S. does not support Taiwanese independence, which has been a longstanding understanding between the America and China — which claims the island as part of its territory.

“We remain opposed to any unilateral changes to the status quo by either side. We continue to expect the peaceful resolution of cross strait differences,” said Blinken on June 19 after a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.


Nonetheless, the bipartisan task force seeks to push through regulatory roadblocks and streamline shipping routes to provide allies and partners with military provisions. 

“For years, U.S. foreign military sales have been plagued with delays that have put many of our allies and partners across the globe at risk,” said TIGER task force leader Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla.

Taiwan military prepares anti-ship missiles

Taiwan Air Force soldiers load U.S.-made Harpoon AGM-84 anti-ship missiles at a combat readiness mission during a press invited event at an airbase in Hualien, Taiwan, in August 2022. This version of the Harpoon missile is fired from the air. (Reuters/Ann Wang)

In March, the U.S. approved a $619 million arms sale to Taiwan, which included 200 anti-aircraft Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles and 100 AGM-88B HARM missiles. Additionally, the U.S. bolstered its Taiwan training program in February, adding 100-200 more troops to prepare for a potential attack from the mainland. 

Last year, U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission blamed a diversion of weapons to Ukraine as the reason for a backlog in weapons shipments to Taiwan. In response, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo. said in a letter to Blinken that the China threat “requires us to expedite delivery to Taiwan of the weapons it needs to defend itself.”

“We will examine where Congress needs to cut bureaucratic red tape and where industry needs to invest in addressing bottlenecks,” said Moulton. “All parties will be held accountable so that equipment gets out the door in time for it to be relevant on the battlefield.”

Taiwan's military conducts training exercises

The U.S. is sending more troops to Taiwan to help train its military, a U.S. official told Fox News on Thursday, as tensions remain high in a territorial dispute with China. Taiwan’s army is shown here conducting drills on Jan. 12 in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. (Annabelle Chih/Getty Images)

Waltz, Moulton and McCaul will be joined by Rep. French Hill, R-Ark., Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Ca., and Jason Crow, D-Colo., on the task force. 

The State Department announced that sales of military equipment to foreign governments spiked 49 percent in fiscal year 2022, with $205.6 billion in sales. 

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