Mark Cowan
Mark Cowan

Taiwan has hired Potomac International Partners, the shop of longtime PA pro Mark Cowan, to lobby for a bilateral free trade agreement with the U.S. and a bolder partnership on national security.

On the trade front, Potomac’s objective is to gain support from White House key advisors and then President Trump for trade talks with Taiwan.

The DC-based firm also will attempt to persuade the Administration to look at People’s Republic of China’s “water/air/land grabs” through the lens of national security.

Potomac, which describes itself as “an action-oriented firm,” will advocate “a more regular schedule of arms sales (to Taiwan) as something that advances the President’s call for peace through strength,” according to its letter of agreement with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative in the US.

The firm anticipates the prospect of closer military ties with Taiwan will pressure China on the trade front. “We also would characterize that display of ‘America First’ in national security as a strategic move that, as a side benefit, also will reap benefits in the 'America First’ trade talks with the PRC,” says its pact.

Potomac’s retainer for the one-year campaign is $360K.

Under the “one-China policy,” the US maintains unofficial relations with Taiwan, which China regards as a breakaway province.

Trump broke with that policy on March 16 by signing the Taiwan Travel Act to encourage visits between officials from the US and Taiwan.

China called the TTA “a mistake” that needs to be fixed.

Cowan, who founded The Jefferson Group, also served as vice chairman of Cassidy & Assocs., senior VP at Hill and Knowlton and senior partner at Patton Boggs.