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Week of April 7, 2000

Week of March 31, 2000

The U.S. and China This Week

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US-CHINA RELATIONS: PNTR with China is Gaining Support

SUMMARY:In an address to members of the high-tech community in San Jose, California on Monday April 3, President Clinton averred that granting China permanent normal trade relations would enhance the record growth of the American economy while reiterating that it would cost America "zip, zilch, nada, zero" in return. The President elucidated how the PNTR legislation would open up the Chinese market for a wide variety of American products, including automobiles, agriculture, telecommunications and computers. But since the high-tech world supports trade with China, Clintonís real audience was Congress. Furthermore, the White House announced early this week that 40 governors have signed a letter to Congress urging support of PNTR status for China. The prospect of passing the legislation is promising in the largely pro-trade Senate, though it is unclear whether the full Senate would vote before the House.

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TRADE: E.U. and China End WTO Talks

SUMMARY:Early this week, WTO talks between the 15-nation European Union Trade Commission and China broke down when disagreements could not be resolved. Although the discrepancies have not been openly discussed, it is reported that the Europeans want greater access to Chinaís insurance, telecommunications and automobile markets.

However, despite the set back both sides seemed optimistic about continuing talks in the unspecified future. Pascal Lamy, the EU Trade Commissioner, said he was not discouraged by the events, adding: "I am paid for getting an agreement and if itís not this time it will be another time." "Iím calm. I know itís difficult for them. I know itís difficult for us," he said. Also, Chinaís Xinhua News Agency quoted Chinaís foreign trade minister Shi Guangsheng as saying: "The talks are positive, constructive and fruitful. Both sides hope to reach an agreement as soon as possible, and the negotiations will continue in the future."

China has been trying to join the WTO for 14 years. After bilateral agreements with Japan, Canada, the U.S. and other countries, the EU is an important trading power which has yet to reach an agreement with China. This could prevent China from WTO entry this year. According to the Geneva-based body that sets rules for global trade, any WTO member has a right to hold talks with any applicant country due to its trade concerns.

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The U.S. and China This Week
The U.S. and China This Week

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