Sadly, the President has chosen the 10th Anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre to request a special waiver of law to provide Most Favored Nation (now Normal Trade Relations) status for China. Just as the President's timing is sad, so too is his policy. This Administration's China policy, like that of the Administration before it, has not succeeded in making trade fairer, people freer, or the world safer.
Every year, the debate over MFN (or NTR) is a referendum on the Administration's policy. For the past 10 years, we have had a bipartisan coalition of Members of Congress who have opposed the Bush-Clinton China policy. Each year, the Republican leadership has opposed our efforts. This year, with a highly charged partisan atmosphere, the Republican leadership now wants to have it both ways. They may want to exploit politically the failures of the Clinton China policy, while appeasing the business community by voting for MFN/NTR, the centerpiece of the policy. The human rights situation in China and Tibet challenges the conscience of our country, and we respond with business as usual.
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