Here is the full statement from Mr. Owens. Pay close attention to the words "continue to believe no rules were violated" and "reimbursing the sponsor personally for the full value of the trip."
“Job creation has been and continues to be my top priority for New York. With that goal in mind, I had the opportunity last year to visit Taiwan and meet with representatives from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp (TSMC), a high-tech company that is considering opening a manufacturing facility in Upstate New York. If this facility comes to fruition, it has the potential to create hundreds, if not thousands of good paying jobs in the region. Along with other meetings, I met with the Taiwan Chamber of Commerce and promoted investment and job creation in Northern New York via the EB5 Program, which allows foreign investors in the US economy to obtain U.S. visas.
We closely followed the Ethics Committee's process to seek advance approval for the trip, which we obtained. Because the sponsor, the Chinese Culture University, did not employ or retain lobbyists or foreign agents, and because no lobbyist or foreign agent was traveling with me or paying for the trip, we did not understand that our contacts with an agent for the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office could affect the trip's permissibility. We made every effort to comply with the standards of conduct and continue to believe that no rules were violated.
Still, I hold myself and my office to the highest of ethical standards. In an abundance of caution, and to avoid any question about the purpose of the travel, which was to bring jobs to New York, or about whether it was appropriate for the sponsor to pay for its costs, I am reimbursing the sponsor personally for the full value of the trip”
And here is a statement from Park Strategies:
"Congressman Owens’s trip was reviewed and approved by the House Ethics Committee, and complied with House rules. We have consulted with Counsel who has determined that our limited contact with Congressman Owens and his staff regarding this trip fell well within what is permissible under House rules. We reported and disclosed all contacts with Congressman’s Owens’s office as per our Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) obligations. There was never any attempt to evade or circumvent any law or regulation. In all cases, we complied with the letter and spirit of any and all relevant laws and regulations."