China: Our Kind of Socialism

ÁÎ×Ó¹â HenryC.K.Liu ¹ù¤l¥ú hliu at
Sat Jan 29 08:01:37 MST 2000

The battle between the anti-China coalition of labor, green and human rights
groups on one side and US corporate interest on the other is like a derivative
bet between hedge fund counterparties, with China as a "notional" value.  China
is merely a reference point of no intrinsic value and with no relation to
Neither counterparty really cares about what is going on in China or how it
postion affects China.  Each counterparty is merely trying to advance its own
economic and political self interest.

Henry C.K. Liu

Saul Thomas wrote:

> Wednesday January 26 1:48 PM ET
> U.S. Chamber to Spend Millions on China Campaign
> WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the nation's largest
> business federation, will spend up to $8 million to support selected
> congressional candidates as part of a major campaign to win passage of a
> landmark trade agreement with China.
> Chamber President Thomas Donohue said on Wednesday the group would dole out
> close to $100,000 on as many as 40 different House races and $200,000 or
> more on nine to 11 Senate races, in support of candidates that back the
> China deal and other pro-business initiatives. Millions more may be spent
> on related election-year efforts.
> ``We're going to pick what we consider the really important races that are
> very close and where somebody in that race, of either party, has gone out
> of their way and has made an extraordinary effort many times to support
> this great economy,'' Donohue said. ``That's where we're going to put this
> money.''
> The money will be spent on direct campaign contributions, voter-organizing
> efforts and advertisements.
> Other pro-trade business groups will back up the chamber. The U.S. Business
> Roundtable has budgeted close to $6 million for advertising and research to
> boost congressional support for a trade agreement that would open Chinese
> markets and clear the way for Beijing to join the World Trade Organization
> (WTO).
> Business leaders said the campaign was expected to be bigger than their
> successful lobbying effort for passage of the 1993 North American Free
> Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that boosted commerce between the United States,
> Canada and Mexico.
> The White House has also promised an all-out effort to convince Congress to
> support the trade agreement with China. President Clinton will use
> Thursday's State of the Union address to highlight the accord's benefits.
> Business groups have already started placing ads in newspapers, as they
> gear up for a fight that could drag on for six months or more over U.S.
> access to the vast Chinese market, potentially the world's largest with 1.2
> billion consumers.
> At a briefing for reporters, Donohue warned lawmakers against attaching
> labor, environmental and human rights provisions to the trade legislation,
> saying that could prompt sponsors to pull the China bill without a vote.
> In exchange for China reducing barriers in everything from agriculture to
> telecommunications, Clinton must persuade the Republican-controlled
> Congress to grant Beijing favorable access to U.S. markets, so-called
> permanent normal trade relations (NTR) status.
> Permanent NTR would guarantee Chinese goods the same low-tariff access to
> U.S. markets as products from nearly every other nation. China currently
> benefits from temporary NTR, which must be renewed each year.
> Until Congress grants Beijing permanent trade privileges, U.S. businesses
> could not benefit from China's commitment to roll back tariffs and other
> trade barriers while foreign companies capitalize on China's new-found
> openness.
> Though flush with cash, business leaders concede they are in for a
> difficult fight.
> U.S. labor groups, traditionally allied with Clinton's Democratic party,
> are planning their own grass-roots campaign against the trade pact that
> could put Vice President Al Gore (news - web sites) in a political bind.
> Gore, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, is counting on
> labor's support at the polls in the November election.
> Union leaders have demanded that China improve labor standards before
> Congress grants it permanent NTR.

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