Sinomania! | Search the China Web Center | China business center site index
Guide: Sinomania! > China News: Special

Billion plus shoppersU.S. Senate
China Trade Bill

Who voted against China?

WASHINGTON DC —By a greater than expected margin, the U.S. Senate voted in favor of granting Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) to China, opening the way for the landmark US-China trade agreement and China's accession to the World Trade Organization.

"America will have more influence in China with an outstretched hand then with a closed fist."
President Clinton

The Anti-China Vote
Senator Tim Hutchinson Republican from Arkansas
Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell Republican from Colorado
Senator Jim Bunning Republican from Kentucky
Senator Barbara Mikulski
Senator Paul Sarbanes
Both Democrats from Maryland.
Senator Paul Wellstone Democrat from Minnesota
Senator Harry Reid Democrat from Nevada
Senator Bob Smith Republican from New Hampshire
Senator Jesse Helms Republican from North Carolina
Senator James Inhofe Republican from Oklahoma
Senator Arlen Specter Republican from Pennsylvania
Senator Ernest Hollings Democrat from South Carolina
Senator James Jeffords Republican from Vermont
Senator Robert Byrd Democrat from West Virginia
Senator Russell Feingold Democrat from Wisconsin

       Despite numerous delays and roadblocks from right-wing and anti-China senators, the yes votes totalled 83 to only 15 against China. The party split was mostly even. Of the total, 37 of the yes votes were Democrats to 46 Republicans.

      Before the final vote, arch conservative octogenarian Senators Robert Byrd and Jesse Helms took time on the Senate floor to condemn China. His hand shaking nervously, Senator Byrd concluded his remarks by saying "mark my words, we'll be taken to the cleaners." Jesse Helms, who spoke at length of how he has been interested in the Chinese people since he was a "little boy" called China a "brutal dictatorship" and compared its government to Nazi Germany. At left is a list of the 15 anti-China votes cast listed alphabetically by American state.

      The Senate bill now goes to President Clinton for signature. Clinton held a press conference after the vote and stressed the economic benefits for both sides once the trade agreement goes into effect and China joins the WTO.

       President Clinton's views were echoed by business leaders throughout the US. Marc Lackritz, president of the Securities Industry Association said the decision will "open a new frontier of opportunity for US investors and securities firms." Excitement about the impending new era in US-China relations was echoed by groups ranging from the American Farm Bureau to the Information Technology Industry Council.

       In a statement, the American Farm Bureau president said "Today's Senate vote to extend permanent normal trade relations to China is a major victory for America's farmers and ranchers. The increased farm exports that will result from this agreement, and China's membership in the World Trade Organization, will help boost our sagging farm economy and benefit Chinese consumers."

       Reaction from China was positive but cautious. The Chinese WTO delegation, led by chief negotiator Long Yongtu was in Geneva at the time the vote was recorded, working on the long process to China's accession to the WTO.

       China is now the fourth largest US trading partner. For full details on the impact of the US-China trade agreement and what it means to American businesses, read our special report.

©Sinomania!com, 1999-2000. All rights reserved.

 home  |  web center  |  news  |  stocks  |  travel maps  |  guide
 economy  |  culture  |  politics  |  buy books  |  buy music  |  buy videos

Copyright © 1998-2000 Sinomania!com. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.