A Florida Republican congressman wants to build economic ties with Mongolia which is located between two major powers in China and Russia.
This week, U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., the top Republican on the U.S. House Asia and the Pacific Subcommittee, introduced the “Mongolia Third-Neighbor Trade Act” in the House along with U.S. Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev. On the other side of Capitol Hill, U.S. Sens. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, and Ben Cardin, D-Mass., are championing the proposal.
“The United States and Mongolia share a strong democratic partnership, called a ‘third neighbor’ relationship, because Mongolia shares land borders with only Russia and China,” Yoho’s office noted. “The Mongolia Third Neighbor Trade Act will allow duty-free entry of Mongolian cashmere into the United States. This will benefit the U.S.-Mongolia relationship by facilitating increased trade between the two countries, support an important sector of the Mongolian economy, and reduce U.S. imports of Chinese cashmere products.”
Yoho, who was the chairman of the Asia and Pacific Subcommittee and who served a stint as the vice chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, weighed in on Thursday on why he was backing the proposal.
“The Mongolia Third-Neighbor Trade Act is not just about imports of cashmere; it is smart policy that supports a strong, independent Mongolia that continues to be a beacon of freedom in the region and a strategic partner of the United States,” Yoho said. “It is estimated that this simple act will create upwards of 40,000 jobs primarily for women who make up ninety percent of the garment industry in Mongolia. We look forward to this strong bipartisan, bicameral legislation being passed under Speaker Pelosi’s leadership and signed into law by President Trump.”
“This legislation sends a signal that the United States must be a strong partner with Mongolia along its path of democratic and economic development,” said Titus. “By diversifying Mongolia’s economy and boosting local employment opportunities – especially for women – we can help this nation overcome its unique challenges to building a thriving, independent economy.”
“Mongolia remains a stable democracy in a sea of authoritarianism and contributes to U.S. national security goals in Asia and the Middle East. The Mongolia Third Neighbor Trade Act will facilitate job and economic growth that can help both our countries. I am proud that this bipartisan legislation will make that possible,” said Cardin. “Our bill also will help bring stability, employment and economic empowerment to the women of Mongolia who comprise most of the country’s garment industry.”
“Mongolia is an important friend and ally of the United States in a tenuous corner of the world,” said Sullivan. “The Mongolia Third Neighbor Trade Act not only reaffirms the importance of this bilateral relationship but also aims to enhance our ties and bolster industry in this growing democracy in the Indo-Pacific.”
Yoho’s bill was sent to the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee this week.