March 21,2000

Witness List and Time Change for Thursday's Hearing on China's Accession to WTO

WASHINGTON -- The Senate Finance Committee will meet on Thursday, March 23 at 9:30 am in room 215 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building to look at trade with the People's Republic of China and its implications for United States national interests.

The following witnesses are expected to appear before the Committee:

I. A Panel Consisting of:

Robert Kagan, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace;
Washington, D.C.

The Honorable James Lilley, Resident Fellow, The American Enterprise Institute; Washington, D.C.; Former Ambassador to The People's Republic of China

The Honorable Richard Perle, Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute; Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy, Department of Defense; Washington, D.C.

The Honorable James Sasser, Advisor to the Gore Presidential Campaign; Former Ambassador to the People's Republic of China; Washington, D.C.

II. A Panel Consisting of:

Merle Goldman, Ph.D., Professor, Fairbanks Center, Harvard University; Cambridge, MA

Nelson E. Graham, President, East Gates Ministries International; Sumner, WA

Prof. Michael A. Santoro, Rutgers Business School; Washington, D.C.

John Sweeney, President, AFL-CIO; Washington, D.C.

Harry Wu, Executive Director, The Laogai Research Foundation; Washington, D.C.


This will be the second of a series of hearings conducted by the Committee to examine the implications of China's accession to the World Trade Organization, and of making permanent that country's normal trade relations status (known as "PNTR").

The Committee will hear testimony from witnesses representing the Administration regarding U.S. interests in the Asia-Pacific region and how those interests are affected by the terms of our trading relationship with China. The Committee will also hear from witnesses with expertise in the fields of international relations, human rights, religious freedom, and labor rights. The purpose of the hearing is to provide a broader context for the legislative debate that will likely occur later this year PNTR.

China has been negotiating to join the WTO for over ten years. The WTO accession process involves a series of bilateral market access negotiations with interested WTO members, as well as multilateral negotiations regarding the application of WTO rules to the applicant country. China concluded its bilateral negotiations with the United States this past November, and is expected conclude the remaining negotiations over the next several months. Upon China's accession to the WTO, the United States is obligated to grant that country PNTR status. The grant of PNTR requires the passage of legislation by Congress.