February 15, 2000
Contact: Debra Silimeo, 202-482-4883 or
Daniel Cruise 202-482-3809
of Commerce Secretary William M. Daley Reaffirms Need
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.