Press Release by Congresswoman Pelosi

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Statement on the President's Request for Most Favored Nation (MFN) Trade Status for China

June 3, 1998

I am disappointed once again in President Clinton's decision to request a waiver of law to provide Most Favored Nation (MFN) status for China. On this issue, the facts are not in his favor.

The President cited China's importance on non-proliferation initiatives, "in light of recent events in South Asia." Yet, he ignores that China has provided Pakistan with technology critical to its development and recent testing of nuclear weapons. Without that assistance, Pakistan would not have had such a developed nuclear weapons program.

The President cited the importance of the U.S.-China trade relationship. Yet, he ignores the burgeoning U.S. trade deficit with China of $50 billion in 1997, conservatively estimated to be $63 billion in 1998. He speaks of growth in U.S. exports to China, but is silent on the overshadowing growth in U.S. imports from China.

And, unbelievably the President is even saying that China is moving toward becoming a thriving democracy. Yet, he ignores the continued pattern of repression -- the arrest, detention, exile or harassment of those peacefully expressing their political or religious beliefs in China and Tibet -- by the Chinese government. The forced exile of two prominent dissidents doth not a democracy make.

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