RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin met with the president of Taiwan on Monday to discuss mutual trade and investment initiatives and other business matters, his office said, and he signed an executive order establishing an economic development office in Taipei.
The visit by Youngkin, who has been considered a possible 2024 presidential contender and has not publicly ruled out a run, came on Day 1 of his first international trade mission — and amid heightened tensions between the United States and China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory and treats dealings between U.S. and Taiwanese officials as a challenge.
Following his meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen, the Republican governor, along with the rest of the Virginia delegation, is also expected to visit Tokyo and Seoul, South Korea, as the trade mission continues this week.
"I was thrilled to meet with President Tsai to strengthen Virginia's decades-old partnership with Taiwan," Youngkin, a former private equity executive, said in a statement. "As a former business leader, I appreciate the commitment to excellence that Taiwan demonstrates across sectors. They are an important training partner and model of prosperity for nations across the globe."
According to Youngkin's office, Virginia exported $730 million in products to Taiwan in 2022 and imported $1 billion in goods.
Youngkin's executive order says the Taipei trade office will represent Virginia in Taiwan and "offer services related to economic development and trade." The state has similar international offices in Germany, Japan and South Korea.
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