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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release May 24, 2000


I commend the House of Representatives for voting today to extend Permanent Normal Trade Relations status to China. I have supported PNTR for China because I believe it will mean good jobs for American workers and enhanced American prosperity. Integrating China into the global trading system and accelerating development of the rule of law in China will advance our national security.

Many in my own party disagreed with us on this issue. They argued passionately that this agreement was not in our best interest.

I do not for a moment question their commitment to the best interests of our country or their values. I reached a different conclusion about how to translate the values that we share into action.

We must continue our efforts to assure that workers will succeed in a global economy. We must respond quickly and effectively to unfair trade practices when they threaten U.S. workers and communities. And we must vigorously monitor China's progress on human rights, non-proliferation, and protection of the environment.

I want to thank members who focused the legislative debate, including Speaker Hastert, Congressmen Archer and Rangel of the Ways and Means Committee, and Congressmen Levin and Bereuter who sponsored a provision establishing a human rights commission and strengthening our ability to protect against import surges.