The US Capitol dome in Washington is pictured on Dec. 17, 2020. Photo: Reuters

Staff writer, with CNA

The US Congress on Tuesday unveiled the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023, which authorizes up to US$12 billion in grants and loans to Taiwan over the next five years to buy US weapons.

The act authorizes up to US$2 billion in annual grants from next year to 2027, as well as an additional US$2 billion in loans for Taiwan to bolster its military capabilities with weapons from the US.

It also authorizes a regional contingency stockpile for Taiwan of up to US$100 million in munitions a year for use in the event of a conflict.

The act also recommends that Washington invite Taiwan to attend the next Rim of the Pacific Exercise in 2024, which the US organizes.

This version of the act, which is passed annually to set policy for the Pentagon, was a result of months of negotiations between Democrats and Republicans in the US Senate and House of Representatives.

It was based on two bills: the House version of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2023, which passed the House on July 14, and the Senate version of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2023, which was approved by the Senate Committee on Armed Services on June 16.

This version of the act authorizes a budget of US$817 billion for the US Department of Defense and US$29 billion for national security programs within the US Department of Energy, the Senate and House Committee on Armed Services said in a news release.

It also authorizes critical investments in military technology, provides a 4.6 percent pay raise for US service members, and ensures that they have the support, equipment and training they need, the news release said.

Reuters reported that he act is expected to pass the Senate and House this month, before being sent to the White House for US President Joe Biden to sign into law.

News source: TAIPEI TIMES