Opening Statement of the Honorable Philip M. Crane, M.C., Illnois,
Chairman, Subcommittee on Trade, Committee on Ways and Means

Hearing on Accession of China to the WTO

May 3, 2000

Thank you Mr. Chairman. It is heartening for me to experience the historic bipartisan show of support we have seen for expanding trade relations with China. The opportunity Congress has to impose an enforceable system of fair trade rules on a nation of 1.2 billion people as it emerges from the iron grip of communism and state planning is one that can not be lost.

Chairman Archer and I are in agreement with the President that the bill to approve permanent NTR status must be a simple change to the Jackson-Vanik statute, rather than one which attempts to make changes to our trade laws or which brings in other issues and complications and I agree with the Chairman on the criteria for evaluating any parallel legislation.

The bilateral trade deal with China sells itself in every area. In one sector after another, there is no question United States workers and business will be better off if Congress passes PNTR and puts these unilateral concessions in place. In exchange for steep tariff reductions and whole-scale reforms of the Chinese trading system, the United States gives up nothing. In a global economy, increasing trade with China is the best way to keep our economy growing and help improve the standard of living and human rights conditions in China.

We will not gain improvement in the respect for rule of law, religious freedom, and democratic principles by rejecting this agreement and surrendering our presence and influence in China. American businesses, religious leaders and unions need to remain engaged in China and I look forward to today's discussion.