Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 12, 2000

Permanent Normal Trade Relations With China:
A Strong Deal for America and Ohio
May 12, 2000

China's Entry To The WTO Will Slash Barriers To The Sale Of American Goods And Services In The World's Most Populous Country. China's entry into the WTO will dramatically cut import barriers currently imposed on American products and services. This agreement locks in and expands our access to a market of over one billion people. China's economy is already among the world's largest and over the past 20 years has expanded at a phenomenal annual rate of nearly 10 percent. During this period, U.S. exports to China have grown from negligible levels to over $14 billion each year, with Ohio alone accounting for $359 million of that in 1998.

China Made Unilateral Concessions; We Would Simply Maintain The Market Access Policies We Already Apply To China By Granting It Permanent Normal Trade Relations. China made significant, one-way market-opening concessions across virtually every economic sector, including increasing access to its markets for agriculture, services, technology, telecommunications, and manufactured goods, each of which is important to Ohio. China also agreed to eliminate "unseen" barriers, such as exclusive rights to import and distribute goods.

The Agreement Strengthens Our Ability To Ensure Fair Trade And To Protect Ohio Agricultural And Manufacturing Base From Import Surges, Unfair Pricing, And Abusive Investment Practices Such As Offsets Or Forced Technology Transfer. Prior to the negotiations, Democrats and Republicans in Congress raised legitimate concerns about the importance of safeguards against unfair competition. As a result, no agreement on WTO accession has ever contained stronger measures to strengthen guarantees of fair trade and to address practices that distort trade and investment. This agreement addresses those concerns through:

Refusal To Pass PNTR Would Put Ohio Farmers, Manufacturing, Workers At A Disadvantage. The United States must grant China permanent NTR or lose the full market access benefits of the agreement we negotiated, rights to enforce China's commitments through WTO dispute settlement, and special import protections. If Congress were to refuse to allow the United States to grant China permanent NTR, our Asian and European competitors would reap these benefits. Farmers, workers, and businesses in Ohio and elsewhere would be left behind, and we would lose key elements negotiated in November to protect our workers from unfair import surges from China.

China's Accession Will Help Promote Reform In China And Create A Safer World. The agreement will encourage Chinese leaders to move in the direction of meeting the demands of the Chinese people for openness, accountability, and reform. The agreement:

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