Tags: Ed Royce | Trump | Taiwan | Phone Call

Ed Royce: Trump's Taiwan Phone Call 'Not That Big an Issue'

(MSNBC/"Morning Joe")

By    |   Tuesday, 06 December 2016 01:16 PM

President-elect Donald Trump's phone call with Taiwan was "not that big an issue," Rep. Ed Royce said Tuesday.

"I presume that was a courtesy call from the president of Taiwan to the president of the United States," Royce, chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Relations, said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program.

"The early call was from the head of state from China, and so to put that in perspective, I was not too surprised. But I don't think it's that big of an issue."

"Morning Joe" co-host Willie Geist asked if the call broke with political tradition.

Royce responded: "It was a courtesy call and he is not yet president, and so from that standpoint, I am not sure what you assert is necessarily a concern."

When asked if North Korea was the biggest challenge the U.S. would face in world affairs, Royce said it's "a huge challenge in the sense that proliferation is also a problem."

"But with respect to what they have been willing to do," he continued, "inputting all of these resources in to developing an ICBM capability that could hit the United States, yes, it is an issue, and that's why we are engaged with Beijing."

He said a delegation from both parties visits Beijing and Taipei, Taiwan's capital, to discuss those issues each year.

The Washington Post's Gene Robinson, a panelist on the show, addressed the possibility that Trump's administration would impose tariffs on companies that move jobs overseas, asking Royce if he was willing to work with Trump on that topic.

Royce, a California Republican, said that renegotiating NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, would address some of the job-loss issues that Trump has expressed concern.

If the incoming president "puts his energy there," Royce said, "I think it would solve some of the problems we are discussing right now."

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President-elect Donald Trump's phone call with Taiwan was "not that big an issue," Rep. Ed Royce said Tuesday.
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Tuesday, 06 December 2016 01:16 PM
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