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February 15, 2000 
Contact: Debra Silimeo, 202-482-4883 or 
Daniel Cruise 202-482-3809

Statement of Commerce Secretary William M. Daley Reaffirms Need 
For Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with China

Washington, DC--As Congress begins to consider China's entry into the WTO, I want to clearly reaffirm the need to grant permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) to China in order to obtain the full market-opening benefits negotiated last fall. Opponents of PNTR have tried to confuse the issue by falsely claiming that some form of periodic review of NTR status would be consistent with our WTO obligations. That is simply not the case. 

Without PNTR, the United States could forfeit the full benefits of China's WTO accession -- leaving American workers and businesses behind. WTO rules require that we grant PNTR to China. A fundamental WTO rule is that imports from all WTO members must be treated the same. A WTO member cannot give special advantages or impose special disadvantages on some countries' products and not others. Subjecting one WTO member to an annual review of its NTR status is a clear and discriminatory condition that disadvantages imports from that country. 

GATT Article I requires that all WTO members grant each other "any advantage, favor, privilege or immunity" provided to other countries "immediately and unconditionally." The United States grants normal trade relations treatment to all countries with whom we share and enjoy all the benefits of the WTO without the condition of an annual review. 

Our market is already open to China. This agreement will open China's market to the United States. If we do not grant China PNTR we will risk losing the full benefits of the strong, enforceable market-opening agreement we negotiated. 

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