Senate clears PTR for China

by Emily Wilson
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In an action viewed as the most significant development in U.S.-China relations in 30 years, the U.S. Senate in late September voted to establish permanent normal trade relations with China. The approval clears the way for China to join the World Trade Organization.

China, now the sixth-largest market for U.S. agricultural exports, is expected to be admitted to the W.T.O. late this year or early in 2001.

President Clinton said of the Senate vote, "When we open markets abroad to U.S. goods, we open opportunities at home. This vote will do that. In return for normal trade relations — the same terms of trade we offer now to more than 130 other countries — China will open its markets to American products from wheat, to cars, to consulting services."

The U.S.D.A. estimates that China's W.T.O. accession would result in U.S.$2 billion annually in additional U.S. agricultural exports by 2005.