U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Hot Springs, says the Fourth Congressional District could benefit greatly from increased trade with Taiwan. He also says he may walk into the voting booth for the primary election with his mind not made up on a Presidential pick.
Westerman, who appeared on this week’s edition of Talk Business & Politics, said Taiwan is Arkansas’ 6th largest trading partner, but agriculture and timber opportunities could boost trade.
“If you look at it [Taiwan] and try to compare it to the size of the Fourth Congressional District, the land mass on the island is actually smaller… but there’s 23 million people that live there,” he noted, compared to about 750,000 in his district.
Westerman said a desire for safer food products, especially from poultry and pork products, presents an business opportunity for Arkansas. He also said that natural gas as well as construction products from the vast timberlands of south Arkansas could find new and expanded markets in Taiwan.
“I’d like to see them take more poultry and more wood products,” Westerman said. “I think there’s real opportunity there. If you look at Taiwan, they’re a thriving democracy in that region.”
An early supporter of Gov. Mike Huckabee’s Presidential bid, Westerman said he’s undecided on who he might vote for in the March 1 primary.
“I still haven’t decided yet,” Westerman said, indicating that he probably won’t make up his mind until he casts his early vote.
Of the big 3 remaining – Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz – Westerman said he could support any if they win the GOP nomination.
“I’ll obviously be satisfied with whoever wins the Republican primary,” he said. “I think Trump is a bit of an unknown, I’m not sure what you’re going to get with Trump. Rubio and Cruz are both freshman senators – there’s things I like about both of them. I think I’m kind of in the same boat a lot of Arkansans are: I’m struggling with who I’m going to pick when I go to cast my ballot.”
You can watch his full interview in the video below.