News Release

Interviews Available on China PNTR

ROBERT E. SCOTT
An international trade economist with the Economic Policy Institute and author of the recently released report “China and the States,” Scott said today: “In April, the Clinton administration published several hundred pages of state-by-state ‘opportunity reports’ purporting to show that ‘the passage of PNTR [Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China]…would open new export and employment opportunities in all 50 states.’ These reports were issued in an attempt to persuade Congress to approve the recently negotiated trade deal with China to ease its entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO). However, these reports not only fail to provide a single estimate of the jobs to be gained in any of the states, they also totally disregard the role of imports in trade, focusing only on exports. Ignoring the impact of imports is like trying to balance a checkbook by counting only the deposits and ignoring the withdrawals. If PNTR for China is approved by Congress, a projection of trade trends over the next decade shows that the trade deficit will expand, resulting in the elimination of over 800,000 jobs in the next decade, with job losses in every state and in virtually every sector of the economy.”
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SARA ZDEB
A policy associate at Friends of the Earth, Zdeb said today: “Instead of taking into account issues like endangered species and global warming, the trade agreement with China totally ignores environmental issues. China is the world’s largest importer of endangered species parts; we fear that once China enters the WTO it will challenge laws protecting endangered species as ‘barriers to trade,’ thus gutting such protections. China is the world’s most populous nation and is poised to be the leading producer of greenhouse gases. The U.S. trade representatives should have been negotiating the transfer of clean, renewable technologies to put China on a more green path toward development, but instead the 250-page trade agreement prioritizes benefits to big business and ignores the environment altogether.”
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MARCO TRBOVICH
Assistant to the president of the United Steelworkers of America, Trbovich said today: “The multinationals are interested in setting up production facilities where there are low wages just as they have done in Mexico. People working for a pittance in China can’t buy American goods and workers in America can’t compete with people working in prison labor camps in China. We already have a $70 billion trade deficit with China and this will increase it. The push for PNTR is an attempt to remove from public view appalling conditions that the State Department’s own recent human rights report says are ‘markedly deteriorating.'”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167