USA*ENGAGE Hails Historic Senate Vote on China Trade Status as Beginning of "New Era of Engagement"

Tuesday, 19 September 2000

"Today’s vote is a watershed," said Frank Kittredge, Vice Chairman of USA*ENGAGE and President of the National Foreign Trade Council. "But the Senate vote was not just about opening another foreign market. Today, the Senate sent an important signal to the world that increasing economic ties is the best way to foster social and democratic change in China."

By approving PNTR for China, Congress has implicitly approved an historic trade agreement that the U.S. and China reached last November. The vote also ends a decade of annual congressional debate about whether to renew China’s trade status. "This annual debate has been enormously disruptive to business and other relationships between the U.S. and China," Kittredge said. "Today’s vote opens a new era. Now, the rules of the international trading system will be at our disposal to resolve trade disputes with China."

"China will enter the WTO under an agreement that commits them to a number of market-opening measures and implementation of rules," Kittredge said. "The business community will be vigilant in monitoring Chinese adherence to the commitments they have made."

Kittredge concluded by noting that the Senate vote on PNTR for China will count twice for the purpose of grading senators in the third annual USA*ENGAGE/National Foreign Trade Council report card. Senate grades will be released later this month.

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