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Congressman Brad Sherman Proposes Revoking China's MFN Status

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Brad Sherman proposes revoking Most Favored Nation (MFN) status for China and directing the President to negotiate a new trading relationship with the country that is designed to eliminate the trade imbalance.

Sherman, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade, is joined by the Ranking Member of the full Foreign Affairs Committee, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), among others, in introducing the legislation.

The bill, H.R. 6071, revokes MFN for China six months after enactment and directs the President to negotiate a new trading relationship with China designed to eliminate the trade imbalance within four years. Finally, the bill provides for the expedited consideration of any new trade partnership with China that will bring the trade deficit down to zero within four years.

"The U.S.-China trade relationship is horrendously lopsided, and it has not lived up to the promises of those who encouraged us to give preferential trade treatment to China. In the year 2000, we were told that it would allow for almost unlimited trade and would create opportunities for Americans to manufacture items and send them to China; that it would boost the U.S. economy and create jobs," said Congressman Sherman. "Unfortunately, we have seen the opposite occur. This is why I have introduced legislation to revoke Most Favored Nation status from China until the President establishes a more level playing field between our two nations."

The United States made MFN status for China permanent on October 10, 2000. Congressman Sherman and Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen voted no. The advocates of MFN for China promised that we would see more jobs for Americans, free trade, and a decline in our trade deficit with China. Instead, China has abused the trading relationship in many ways, engaging in abuses ranging from currency manipulation to piracy of intellectual property.

The United States' trade deficit with China has grown from approximately $84 billion in 2000 to nearly $227 billion in 2009. For every dollar's worth of goods the United States imports from China, our country exports only 23 cents worth of goods to China. Our exports to China equal only 1.6% of China's GDP, and this percentage has actually declined since 2006.

The following members of congress are original cosponsors of this legislation: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Carol Shea-Porter (D-NC), Walter Jones (R-NC), Steve Kagen (D-WI), Patrick Murphy (D-PA), and Peter DeFazio (D-OR).

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