Press Release

2020 ALEC International Pioneer Award Goes to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen

Alexis Jarrett

2020 ALEC International Pioneer Award Goes to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen

ARLINGTON, VA – (DECEMBER 3, 2020) Today, ALEC presents its International Pioneer Award to Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen at the ALEC States & Nation Policy Summit (SNPS). President Tsai Ing-wen receives this for her extraordinary international leadership and her strong commitment to free markets, which is an ALEC guiding principle.

ALEC has long supported international trade frameworks, including a bilateral trade agreement with Taiwan – America’s 7th largest export market for agricultural products. ALEC members believe in the power of international commerce to grow the US economy and create good paying jobs for Americans. Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, another champion of free markets, was the last recipient of the ALEC International Pioneer Award in 2006.

“ALEC is proud to present the International Pioneer Award to President Tsai for her extraordinary international leadership,” said Lisa B. Nelson, ALEC chief executive officer. “President Tsai supports bilateral free trade agreements, and President Tsai has balanced Taiwan’s budget for the first time in 22 years – something the U.S. government needs to notice.”

“President Tsai and her colleagues have clearly demonstrated a longstanding dedication to free market principles, standing for the causes of freedom and liberty not only in Taiwan, but across the world,” said Texas State Representative Rick Miller – ALEC Chair of the Federalism and International Relations task force, a 30-year Navy veteran, and someone who joined two legislative delegations to Taiwan.

“I can think of no other world leader more deserving of the ALEC International Pioneer Award than President Tsai Ing-wen. President Tsai has demonstrated uncommon, steely resolve,” said Karla Jones, ALEC Senior Director of the International Relations and Federalism task force. “Taiwan is indeed ‘on the front lines of freedom,’ and ALEC is proud to recognize her leadership.”

The International Pioneer Award is presented to leaders on the international stage whose careers exemplify a commitment to free market, limited government principles, and to those that have exhibited a steadfast dedication to serving the causes of freedom both in their own countries and abroad. Honorees inspire generations of future leaders with their leadership.

ALEC members have adopted model policies intended to enhance trade between our two democracies and to support the US-Taiwan strategic partnership including:

Resolution Supporting the United States in Signing a Bilateral Trade Agreement with Taiwan

Reaffirmation of the US Commitment to Taiwan on the 40th Anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act

Resolution in Support of the Taiwan Travel Act


 The American Legislative Exchange Council is the largest nonpartisan, voluntary membership organization of state legislators in the United States. The Council is governed by state legislators who comprise the Board of Directors and is advised by the Private Enterprise Advisory Council, a group of private, foundation and think tank members. For more information about the American Legislative Exchange Council, please visit:

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