Trade with China

Should China be granted permanent normal trade status with the United States?

Bill Bradley
  Bill Bradley (Democrat)
"Yes. It is in America's interest to grant China normal trade status on a permanent rather than annual basis because it would make China a more reliable trading partner and provide greater access to the Chinese market for American companies. This will create new and better jobs for America's workers and farmers. I also believe that giving China a stake in opening its society and adhering to trade laws will encourage China to abide by internationally recognized principles of human rights and contribute to the democratization of its political institutions."

Al Gore
  Al Gore (Democrat)
"Yes. I support extension of most favored nation status for China through accession to the World Trade Organization. The WTO's accession agreement with China includes measures to strengthen our ability to assure fair trade and to defend our agricultural and manufacturing base from import surges, unfair pricing and abusive investment practices such as offsets or forced technology transfers that cost U.S. jobs. Failure to grant China permanent normal trade relations will put American farmers and factories at a vast disadvantage with respect to Europe and Japan and hurt our ability to enforce China's commitments in the WTO."

Gary Bauer
  Gary Bauer (Republican)
"No. China needs to improve its performance on human rights, as well as stop threatening aggression against Taiwan and its other neighbors, before even a discussion of normal trade status should begin. A further concern is that China has failed to open its markets even to countries like ours that have placed few if any restrictions on imports from China."

George W. Bush
  George W. Bush (Republican)
"I support permanent normal trade relations for China as part of China's admission to the WTO (World Trade Organization) for several reasons. First, it will provide American businesses and farmers access to China's growing market and narrow our trade deficit with China, which in 1998 reached nearly $60 billion. Second, to join the WTO, China is agreeing to live by fair trading rules. As president, I will work to ensure that American exporters get the full benefit of China's market-opening commitments. Third, as we export American goods and services into China, we will export American values, especially freedom."

Steve Forbes
  Steve Forbes (Republican)
"First, I believe Taiwan _ a democratic and free market society _ should be permitted into the World Trade Organization before Beijing is even considered. We must send China's Communist regime a clear message about the value America places on economic and political freedom and human rights. Second, China should not receive permanent normal trade status with the U.S. Instead, China's behavior and trade status must be carefully reviewed and debated every year. No more business as usual. As president, I will make clear the rules of engagement China must follow. I will immediately impose sanctions on Chinese military-owned companies trafficking in weapons of mass destruction and slave-labor goods. I hope we can have a peaceful, prosperous relationship with Beijing. But if Beijing chooses the path of confrontation, I will not hesitate for one moment to revoke its normal trade status. I will never sacrifice American security, sovereignty or values on the altar of trade."

Orrin Hatch
  Orrin Hatch (Republican)
"I support MFN for China and China's admission to the WTO under appropriate terms, which would include pressing for positive and peaceful change in China by supporting the development of the rule of law in China and by placing a high priority on human rights issues. America's farmers and manufacturers would greatly benefit from increased trade relations with China and as long as we continue to see progress in the erosion of communism and economic prosperity, we should move forward."

Alan Keyes
  Alan Keyes (Republican)

John McCain
  John McCain (Republican)
"I believe maintaining economic and diplomatic relations with China serves our national interests. Shutting China off from the world economy would have the negative effect of turning China inward, removing the positive influence on the Chinese people of Western societies, and increasing the Chinese leadership's hostility toward international norms and Western values _ including human rights. As a result of its participation in the WTO, China will have to abide by the organization's standards governing international trade, and there will be enforcement mechanisms available to ensure that China does so."

  Pat Buchanan (Reform Party)
"No. Before giving China permanent MFN, we must get ironclad assurances on religious freedom, a commitment to non-violence on Taiwan, a build-down of China's missile force and elimination of Chinese restrictions on U.S. goods."