May 24,2000

Roth Applauds House Vote On PNTR For China

WASHINGTON -- Senate Finance Committee Chairman William V. Roth, Jr. (R-DE) today applauded the House for passage of legislation that grants Permanent Normal Trade Relations status for China. Roth released the following statement:

"As I have said many times, the primary reason for my support of PNTR for China is the benefits that it holds for my constituents in Delaware and for American farmers and workers generally. Therefore, I welcome the vote today in the House in support of PNTR. While some want America to ride the bench in the dugout, PNTR is a home run for American farmers, workers, and businesses.

"China's accession to the World Trade Organization is a foregone conclusion. It is important to understand that China has access to our markets. What the vote about PNTR determines is whether American farmers, firms and businesses will have access to China's markets. The House vote is an important step toward that goal.

"The positive benefits that normalizing trade relations with China would have for Chinese workers and for the process of economic and political reform reinforces my view. Freedom, in the end, is indivisible. In my view, today's House vote was a vote for freedom in China, and that is the most profound message the Congress can send to the Chinese people.

"The Senate is now in the on-deck circle. The Finance Committee has already reported out a counterpart bill. The House has added considerably to what I would have preferred, which was a clean bill that would have guaranteed American market access. We need the opportunity to review what the House has sent us, but then I expect us to take our turn at bat. I hope to see China PNTR move on the floor of the Senate as expeditiously as possible. I will be working from now until the Senate's passage of this measure in support of the economic opportunity it creates for my state of Delaware and for farmers, workers, and industry throughout America."