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Pressure For China Trade Deal

  • Representatives from Big Business are at it again, pressing senators to pass the China trade deal before they run out of time.
Exclusive to The SPOTLIGHT
By James P. Tucker Jr.

Big business is trying to buy a quick Senate vote approving House-passed legislation granting permanent "normal" trade relations, or PNTR, to Red China -- so far, they have spent at least $58 million.

They have pounded on the doors of all 100 senators and are clogging their computers with email while demanding a vote in July on PNTR.

The financiers are afraid if the Senate fails to approve the House bill without change, sending it directly to President Clinton who has promised to sign it into law, it could fail to pass this year. The new Congress seated in January would have to start over.

A vote after the August recess for the political conventions would be more politically difficult, coming just days or weeks before the elections. If the Senate makes any changes, the House would have to vote again -- something members desperately hope to avoid.

This explains the huge push by big business for a vote in July.

"It's a huge gamble to predict they can get this legislation passed again," said Johanna Schneider, spokesman for the Business Roundtable, which is composed of huge multinational corporations. Meanwhile, China's communist leader, Jiang Zemin, is eagerly watching the maneuvers of his capitalist allies.

In May, when the House passed PNTR, the Business Roundtable contributed $805,000 to the fundraising arms of Democrat and Republican lawmakers. Since Jan. 1, 1999, members of the Roundtable have contributed $58 million to congressional candidates and political parties.

Throwing money around has proved successful in buying Congress. Of the 10 House members who received the most money from the Roundtable, all voted for PNTR, which passed 237-197.

Big businessmen are investing so much money because they have a huge stake in the outcome. The rush is on because they fear the public will become educated about PNTR and voter outrage will kill their scheme.

If PNTR is approved, these multinationals will rush to close down their American industries and move them to Red China. There they can pay slave wages and avoid the high costs of paid vacations, health insurance and other fringe benefits imposed on businesses in this country on behalf of paid labor.


As this transformation takes place -- and Big Business has its bags packed emotionally -- hundreds of thousands of American workers will lose their jobs, becoming recipients of government largess instead of taxpayers.

This will also aggravate the trade deficit, now hugging one-third of a trillion dollars. An increase in the trade deficit means even more losses to the United States as dollars move out of the country.

PNTR also raises another chilling threat that has been underreported: it will enhance Red China militarily. China has already acquired, by spying in a security-lax United States, missile secrets that threaten annihilation. But PNTR makes the job easier with easy-access trade rules.

Platoons of military men, economists and labor leaders have testified before Congress and otherwise warned that PNTR will be catastrophic not only for American workers but for taxpayers and national security.