Twenty-three Republican lawmakers in the U.S. have urged the Biden administration to sign a free-trade agreement with Taiwan. In a joint letter, they called for a deal under the U.S.-Taiwan Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, or TIFA, saying it would benefit both economies and curb China's threat to global trade. Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua thanked the lawmakers on Wednesday. Wang Mei-hua, minister of economic affairs: Lawmakers from the U.S.’ two major parties have always taken extremely friendly actions to further Taiwan-U.S. ties. We are extremely thankful for their actions.Cheng Ting-fei, DPP lawmaker: If we can really negotiate an FTA with the U.S., we would no longer be under the thumb of our bad neighbor, Beijing, which uses all sorts of methods to stymie Taiwan’s progress with tariffs.Lai Shyi-bao, KMT lawmaker: In its tug-of-war against China, the U.S. considers Taiwan an important chess piece. What we want is progress toward an FTA. We would absolutely appreciate an FTA. We hope the Biden administration will heed good advice.Taiwan lawmakers from both major parties said they would look forward to FTA talks. They said deeper trade ties with Washington would make Taiwan less vulnerable to Beijing.