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Vice President Gore Commends House for PNTR Vote

(China WTO accession will advance U.S. national security) (360)

Vice President Al Gore commended the House of Representatives for voting May 24 to extend Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status to China.

In a statement released shortly after the vote, Gore said: "Integrating China into the global trading system and accelerating development of the rule of law in China will advance our national security."

Following is the text of the Vice President's statement:

(begin text)

May 24, 2000

STATEMENT BY THE VICE PRESIDENT ON CHINA PNTR

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Vice President

Wednesday, May 24, 2000

STATEMENT BY THE VICE PRESIDENT ON CHINA PNTR

I commend the House of Representatives for voting today to extend Permanent Normal Trade Relations status to China. I have supported PNTR for China because I believe it will mean good jobs for American workers and enhanced American prosperity. Integrating China into the global trading system and accelerating development of the rule of law in China will advance our national security.

Many in my own party disagreed with us on this issue. They argued passionately that this agreement was not in our best interest.

I do not for a moment question their commitment to the best interests of our country or their values. I reached a different conclusion about how to translate the values that we share into action.

We must continue our efforts to assure that workers will succeed in a global economy. We must respond quickly and effectively to unfair trade practices when they threaten U.S. workers and communities. And we must vigorously monitor China's progress on human rights, non-proliferation, and protection of the environment.

I want to thank members who focused the legislative debate, including Speaker Hastert, Congressmen Archer and Rangel of the Ways and Means Committee, and Congressmen Levin and Bereuter who sponsored a provision establishing a human rights commission and strengthening our ability to protect against import surges.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

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