Sussex County Delaware

Castle Votes
for China
Trade Bill

China Trade Bill ...

Says Delaware Exporters
Will Beneft from PNTR

Saying that Delaware exporters, including farmers, will benefit from opened trade relations with China, Delaware Congressman Michael N. Castle voted for Permanent National Trade Relations with the Communist country on Wednesday, May 24, 2000.

The measure passed the House of Representatives 237 to 197.

Under the PNTR measure, China would no longer be subject to trading probation and Congress would not have to vote year-by-year on whether the United States will trade with the Chinese.

Opponents to the controversial measure say the U.S. should not normalize trade relations with a country with a history of human rights abuses and a country that has been openly hostile to the United States through spying.

Castle, however, feels the benefits of open trading with the nation of 1 billion people outweigh the negatives.

"If Delaware's industries are to compete successfully for export opportunities in the 21st Century, they need fair trade and fair access to growing global markets," said Rep. Castle. "But the benefits of the trade deal go beyond the economics. The United States now gains a powerful new enforcement tool. China will have to play by the same rules of fair trade that all the other members of the World Trade Organization follow."

Delaware's merchandise export sales to China totalled $69 million in 1998, up from $59 million in 1993. Castle said Delaware's exports to China are also becoming more diversified, with 1998 exports encompassing 17 categories compared to 12 categories 5 years earlier.

In 12 of the categories, Delaware exports to China more than doubled from 1993 to 1998. Castle said PNTR will also open the market for a wide range of services from telecommunications, banking and insurance to motion pictures, tourism and computers.

As a result of PNTR, Castle said Delaware's key export sectors will benefit from reduced tariffs and improved trade rules protecting U.S. industries against unfair trading practices and removing burdensome obstacles, including:

  • Tariff elimination for informaiton technology products and furniture, and major tariff reductions for wood products, scientific and measuring instruments, construction equipment, power generation equipment, and specialized machinery;

  • Low tariffs for most chemicals, at WTO harmonization, including pharmaceuticals, and;

  • Elimination of import restrictions for products such as construction equipment and information technology products.

On Nov. 15, 1999, the U.S. and China reached an agreement on China's WTO membership that would require China to reduce or eliminate barriers to trade in agriculture, industrial products and services.

China must complete bilateral negotiations with the major trading partners and complete talks with the WTO Working Party, before the full WTO body can vote on China's membership.

In order to ensure that the WTO agreements between the United States and China would fully apply, Congress must grant China PNTR status.

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