24 May 2000
Dg statement on house of representatives approval on PNTR for China
I am delighted that the U.S. House of Representatives has approved Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China. This is a vital step in bringing China into the family of governments that make up the World Trade Organization. By extending PNTR to China, the House has given a major vote of confidence to a rules-based trading system, a system which encourages openness and accountability.
With the vote today and the China-European Union market access agreement reached last week, China is now close to membership in the WTO. But much work remains to be completed. China must reach bilateral market access agreements with several countries including Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico and Switzerland. The Working Party on China's accession must also complete its work. I encourage all parties in these talks to work constructively and expeditiously towards reaching agreement. The WTO Secretariat and I stand ready to provide any support which may facilitate such an outcome.