|Help | Sitemap | Archive | Advanced Search | Mirror in USA|
|Voice of Readers|
|China At a Glance|
|Constitution of the PRC|
|State Organs of the PRC|
|CPC and State Leaders|
|Chinese President Jiang Zemin|
|White Papers of Chinese Government|
|Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping|
|English Websites in China|
|Friday, June 16, 2000, updated at 21:56(GMT+8)|
Clinton Pushes for Senate Vote on China's PNTRUS President Bill Clinton will turn to his allies in big business to press for Senate passage of a landmark China trade bill, after the administration's point man in the trade fight -- Commerce Secretary William Daley -- announced his departure.
Clinton has made granting permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) to China his top legislative priority for his final year in office. The trade bill was approved by the House of Representatives, but Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, a Mississippi Republican, has refused to schedule a final vote, insisting that lawmakers first complete work on spending bills.
"This isn't very complicated," White House spokesman Jake Siewert told reporters. "We have strong support for (PNTR) in the Senate. What we need is a vote, a date for a vote ... There's no reason to delay."
Clinton will make the case for "moving quickly" to a Senate vote at a meeting of the Business Roundtable, a group of top corporate executives, Siewert said.
The business group was instrumental in lobbying House members to pass PNTR, and Clinton aides hope its members will step up pressure on Lott to schedule a final vote before Congress' July 4 recess.
Clinton was also eager to show that the White House remained focused on PNTR after Daley said he would leave his job on July 15 to replace the ailing Tony Coelho as presidential hopeful Al Gore's campaign chairman.
The White House said Daley's departure would have little impact on the drive for passage of the China bill, insisting that White House Deputy Chief of Staff Steve Ricchetti and other administration officials would fill the void. "This has been a team effort from the beginning," Siewert said.
Lott's spokesman, John Czwartacki, said Daley's decision was "not helpful."
Lott told reporters this week that he would not "rush" to schedule a vote on PNTR, which would end the annual ritual of reviewing China's trade status and guarantee Chinese goods the same low-tariff access to US markets as products from nearly every other nation.
PNTR won House approval in May, and Senate passage is virtually assured whenever a vote is scheduled. "We will find the time to do it," said Lott.
But Lott said the Senate first should pass many of the spending bills needed to fund the federal government and its programmes.
He also said that he would try to gauge suggestions by some of his own Republican Senators to amend the bill, which will make the whole process of China PNTR vote much complicated. Any change to the bill passed by the House in May will need another vote in the bitterly divided House of Representatives.
Frustrated by the delay, Republican Senators Gordon Smith of Oregon and Craig Thomas of Wyoming have circulated a letter among senators urging Lott to schedule a vote before July 4 and pledging to block any effort to amend the bill. A similar letter was sent to Lott last week by moderate Democrats.
Sixty-three lawmakers in the 100-member Senate said in a Reuters poll they would vote in favour of PNTR, enough to override a vote-blocking filibuster.
In This Section
|Copyright by People's Daily Online, all right reserved||| Mirror in U.S. | Mirror in Japan | Mirror in Edu-Net | Mirror in Tech-Net ||