U.S. SENATE APPROVES PERMANENT TRADE STATUS FOR CHINA
The U.S. Senate has overwhelmingly passed legislation granting China permanent national trade status.
Under the legislation, which was approved by an 83-15 vote, China will no longer have to go through annual congressional reviews of its trade status.
The legislation, which will be sent to the White House for President Clinton’s signature after a House-Senate conference, paves the way for U.S. support of China’s entry into the World Trade Organization.
In return, China will open more markets to U.S. goods and reduce tariffs on U.S.-made goods from 25 percent to about 9 percent by 2005.
The development carriers shipping industry overtones. China free-trade status has been viewed by APL and Maersk Sealand as a condition for resolving long-standing trade barrier issues which for years have been before the Federal Maritime Commmission.
Issues to be worked out include restrictions on vessel calls at Chinese ports, restrictions on ocean carrier’s inland operations and barring non-Chinese carriers from establishing branch offices in China’s interior.
APL and Maersk Sealand have stated that the problems will not be resolved until China gains entry into the World Trade Organization.