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July 18, 2000
(House)

H.J.Res. 103 - Disapproving the Extension of Nondiscriminatory Trade Treatment to China
(Rohrabacher (R) CA and 3 cosponsors)

The Administration strongly opposes H.J.Res. 103, which would disapprove normal trade relations (NTR) with China, and if it were presented to the President he would veto it. The House acted on May 24, 2000, to grant Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) to China. Granting annual NTR is required to maintain our present trading relations. The PNTR package passed by the House and nearing action in the Senate will extend PNTR to China only after China's formal accession to the World Trade Organization.

For the same reason that the President strongly supports extending PNTR to China, he strongly opposes this resolution, which if passed, would disrupt the relationship between the United States and China.

The Administration urges support for the renewal of NTR to China because it advances a broad range of critical U.S. interests, such as advancing America's economic interests, preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction, combating international crime and drug trafficking, promoting economic and regional stability in Asia, and protecting the global environment. Maintaining our overall relationship with China will enable the United States to actively engage China in the months and years ahead, to enhance areas of cooperation, and to pursue American interests where we differ. That engagement can help determine whether China becomes an increasingly open and productive partner for America, or whether it becomes more isolated and unpredictable. Extending NTR status to China is vital to our ability to successfully engage China and advance U.S. interests.

Revoking annual NTR would significantly damage America's relationship with a fifth of the world's population and jeopardize U.S. political and economic security for no discernible gain, given the impending extension of PNTR. It would reverse three decades of bipartisan China policy and would seriously weaken our influence not only in China, but throughout Asia and beyond. Renewal of NTR at this time, and ultimately the granting of PNTR, best advances the substantial and broad range of U.S. interests.

 


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