Brownback releases statement after signing of PNTR with China
U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, R-KS, released the following statement after President Clinton signed Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) for China into law.
"PNTR for China presents tremendous new export opportunities for our manufacturers, farmers and service providers in Kansas," Brownback said. "While China has had excellent access to the U.S. market for 20 years, U.S. access to China's enormous market has been limited. With the enactment of this legislation, and China's accession to the World Trade Organization, that situation is about to change.
"The United States is finally going to enjoy virtually unfettered access to China's vast market. The impact on Kansas will be substantial. China agreed to end corn export subsidies, increase import quotas for wheat and corn, and reduce soybean tariffs. China agreed to lower its tariff on beef, from 45 to 12% and on pork, from 20 to 12%. China agreed to accept U.S. Department of Agriculture safety certification for meat and pork exports.
"Agriculture is not the only sector in Kansas that will benefit from China's accession to the WTO. Black & Veatch will see lower tariffs on imported equipment, which will reduce the contract cost of projects won in China. Boeing will have a more stable economic environment, in which to sell airplanes to China's airlines.
"Granting PNTR status to China will increase our exports to the world's most populous country. But, more importantly, bringing China into the WTO will put it on a collision course with economic and political liberalization," Brownback said.
"China has been ruled by the Communist Party with an iron grip for more than 50 years. But WTO accession comes with a price. WTO accession will usher the forces of globalization into China, in a very permanent way. Globalization will be good for China's economy, because it will integrate China's economy into the world's economy.
"PNTR and human rights must go hand in hand. My positive position on PNTR gives me a door to walk through to raise a number of human rights issues with the Chinese government, including religious liberty and the development of the rule of law.
"We need to open up trade with China to increase our exports and to increase the exposure of the Chinese people to economic and political liberalization. But trade must not come at the expense of national security. Ignoring China's proliferation activities, while increasing our trade ties with China, would be a grave mistake. We must be vigilant and enforce current U.S. law as it pertains to proliferation," Brownback said.