USA*ENGAGE Chides Gephardt on Call to Reject

Thursday, 20 April 2000

"The minority leader has made a domestic political call rather than supporting a policy that will open the Chinese market to American products and promote human rights and democracy in China," said Frank Kittredge, President of the National Foreign Trade Council and Vice Chairman of USA*ENGAGE. "We are concerned that the opportunity to make real progress in U.S.-China relations is being undermined by the minority leader."

"Gephardt’s position is somewhat surprising given that the PNTR vote is about opening up the Chinese market to U.S. products. In contrast, the annual vote on China’s trade status is about keeping the U.S. market open to Chinese goods," Kittredge continued. "Threatening to cut off trade in order to influence China has failed consistently for a decade, and continuing to isolate China by maintaining this policy is not the answer. Engagement and the exchange of ideas and information is the best way to encourage the rule of law in China and the liberalization of the Chinese economy. Extending PNTR to China will open China’s market, help raise living standards, and open lines of communication with the Chinese people."

USA*ENGAGE is a coalition of 670 small and large businesses, agriculture groups and trade associations working to seek alternatives to the proliferation of unilateral U.S. foreign policy sanctions and to promote the benefits of U.S. engagement abroad. For more information on USA*ENGAGE and the harmful effects of unilateral trade sanctions, visit the USA*ENGAGE web site at



# # #