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Chinese consulate-general honors former U.S. Congressman Bill Archer


14:30, March 13, 2012

HOUSTON, March 12 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese Consulate-general in Houston held a reception Monday to celebrate the 84th birthday of former U.S. Congressman Bill Archer and pay tribute to him for his contribution to China-U.S. relations.

"Congressman Archer is a well respected statesman from the great state of Texas, a major contributor to China-U.S. relations, a true friend of the Chinese People," Xu Erwen, Chinese Consul General in Houston, said in a speech.

Archer served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1971 until 2001, acting for his last six years as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. He played an important role in the U.S. granting of the permanent normal trade relations status to China.

The Chinese-U.S. economic and trade relationship had been abnormal for years, hampered by the yearly review of China's "Most-Favored-Nation" status by the U.S. Congress, Xu said. Archer suggested the use of the term 'normal trade relations (NTR)' instead of the "most-favored-nation (MFN)," a term which used to mislead the U.S. public opinion.

In October 1997, when Archer introduced the house bill H.R. 2676 into the congress, he dedicated a section of the bill to the clarification of designation of "normal trade relations." When that bill became law in July 1998, MFN was changed into NTR.

To further establish a stable framework for the U.S.-China relations,Archer introduced another bill in May 2000, aimed at changing China's normal trade relations status with the U.S. to a permanent one. The bill was signed into law by then President Bill Clinton in October 2000.

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