Gathering China into the Fold
On Oct. 10, 2000, China was granted permanent normal trade relations (PNTR), a 14-year effort that generated enormous controversy in Congress but ultimately received bipartisan support. The agreement drastically reduces Chinese tariffs on many farm and industrial goods and gives some U.S. industries access to Chinese markets. Expected to be President Clinton's final major policy success, the agreement reflects the administration's philosophy that easing up trade restrictions will integrate China into the world market and lead to a better human rights record and weapons treaties. Unions and other groups vociferously opposed the agreement, anticipating the loss of American jobs.