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Govt Welcomes US Congress Vote On Chinese Trade

25 May 2000


The United States Congress vote to approve permanent normal trade relations with China was excellent news, Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said today.

He said the decisive vote was good for peace and stability.

The Congressional vote is the first stage of a two-step process, and the Senate has yet to approve it. The Senate vote is expected in June.

Mr Sutton urged the United States Senate to affirm the Congress vote.

"New Zealand wants to see China in the WTO and this is a further step towards that end.

"New Zealand concluded its bilateral deal with China some time ago, we were the first OECD member to do so. However, that deal remains subject to the introduction of satisfactory tariff quota arrangements for wool. Discussions on this with the Chinese are continuing."

Mr Sutton said United States president Bill Clinton's Administration had devoted considerable effort to securing today's outcome.

"Once the Senate has completed its consideration of PNTR with China, the way will be open for the Administration to focus on the resumption of the stalled Seattle WTO process. A window of opportunity may well open for this in July."


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