March 14, 2000
Washington, DC, March 14 -- The leading coalition of business groups supporting trade with China today welcomed the joint decision of the U.S. and Chinese governments to release the full text of last November's landmark trade agreement. The agreement of November 15, 1999 contains the details of the bilateral agreement on China's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
"Now the general public will be able to see what a terrific deal this is for America", said Cal Cohen, a co-chairman of The Business Coalition for U.S.-China Trade and President of the Emergency Committee for American Trade . "The text of the agreement contains page after page of concessions that will improve our access to China's huge market. But Congress must pass Permanent Normal Trade Relations in order for American workers and farmers to share in these benefits", Cohen added.
Previously, the full text of the agreement was available only to private sector representatives who hold special security clearances, and to members of Congress in the Capitol's secure reading room. Ordinarily, bilateral agreements on WTO accession are not made public until all other WTO members have finished their bilateral negotiations with an aspiring member. Ten countries, including the European Union, are still negotiating with China.
"We applaud the decision of the U.S. and Chinese governments to make the agreement public. There is nothing to hide, and everything to gain from making the details known to all. Those who read the agreement will be amazed at the breadth of the reforms China will make to gain membership in the WTO", said Robert A. Kapp, President of the U.S.-China Business Council and another of the Business Coalition's co-chairs.
The Business Coalition for U.S.-China Trade consists of over 1,200 leading American companies, trade associations, and farm organizations that support Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with China. It is co-chaired by The Business Roundtable, the Emergency Committee for American Trade, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the U.S.-China Business Council. For more information, visit www.business4chinatrade.org
Last Updated: 14-Mar-00