October 10,2000

Roth Statement at China PNTR Signing Ceremony

WASHINGTON -- Senate Finance Committee Chairman William V. Roth, Jr. (R-DE) today delivered the following statement at the White House signing ceremony for legislation that grants China permanent normal trade relations status:

"Mr. President, colleagues from the Senate and House, and all of those who invested so much in making the passage of this legislation possible. This is a historic occasion. Our relationship with China is one of a handful that will dominate the world stage in the early 21st century. It is ours to determine the sort of relationship we will seek with China - whether a constructive relationship that provides energy to the fundamental changes under way in China today, or one of conflict that undercuts many of our longer term strategic objectives.

"The passage of PNTR is a critically important step in the right direction. The passage of PNTR, however, is not just important in broad strategic terms; it also reflects a practical commitment to sustained economic growth and a rising standard of living here at home. In my home state of Delaware alone, China's accession to the WTO and the passage of PNTR means new economic opportunities for poultry farmers, automobile workers, manufacturers of chemicals and pharmaceuticals, and providers of insurance and other financial services. The passage of PNTR will brighten their economic future, just as it will for the people of China.

"In closing, let me be clear about one thing. While we are gathered here in celebration of the end of the legislative process, in real terms, this is just the beginning of our efforts to draw China more fully into the community of nations. I intend to do my part to provide the energy and oversight needed to ensure that the deal reached with China lives up to the expectations of this historic day. I want each one of you to join me in that effort.

"I also want to thank each of you for your help in the passage of this historic legislation. I particularly want to thank my good friend and Ranking Member, Senator Moynihan, for his efforts and the Majority Leader, Senator Lott, for his commitment to bring this measure to the floor and seeing it through to final passage."