July 19, 2001
Administration strongly opposes H.J.Res. 50, which would disapprove
(and thereby revoke) normal trade relations (NTR) with China. P.L.
106-286 authorized the President to grant Permanent Normal Trade Relations
(PNTR) to China, after China's formal accession to the World Trade
Organization (WTO). Since China has not yet acceded to the WTO, it
is essential that we grant annual NTR to China to maintain our present
Renewal of NTR to China will assist in the advancement of many U.S. interests, in the economic, weapons' nonproliferation, law enforcement, regional stability, and environmental realms. Extending NTR status to China is also vital to our ability to successfully engage China. This engagement can help determine whether China becomes an increasingly open and productive partner for America, or whether it becomes more isolated and unpredictable.
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 a bipartisan China policy and would seriously weaken our influence not only in China, but throughout Asia and beyond. Renewal of NTR best advances the substantial and broad range of U.S. interests.