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Positions & Statements



USCIB Letter to Ambassador Charlene Barshefsky in Response to Negotiation of a Bilateral U.S.-China WTO Agreement



November 23, 1999



The Honorable Charlene Barshefsky

United States Trade Representative

The Winder Building

600 17th Street, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20506


Dear Ambassador Barshefsky:


The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) congratulates you and your negotiating team on the conclusion of a landmark bilateral agreement with China. This agreement would vastly improve market access for U.S. goods and services in China, with positive benefits for American companies, food and agricultural producers, and American workers. We appreciate the opportunities your staff has given our members to present comments about specific issues under negotiation, and look forward to an opportunity to review the specific terms of the agreement.


We believe that bringing China into the World Trade Organization (WTO) under commercially viable terms would be a giant step forward for the entire WTO system, broadening the reach of common trade rules to the advantage of all WTO members. U.S. companies have flourished under the rule-based WTO system. The U.S. is the world's largest exporter, and international trade makes an important contribution to U.S. economic growth.


Your achievement in Beijing provides a positive prelude for the Seattle ministerial meeting, which we hope will launch negotiations to further improve trade and investment opportunities under WTO rules. China's accession to the WTO is an important complement to your efforts to broaden market access for U.S. goods and services, and further strengthen the common disciplines for world commerce.


USCIB pledges its full support to achieving permanent normal trading relations with China, which will be necessary for the U.S. to realize the full benefits from China's accession to the WTO.


We wish you every success in Seattle.




Thomas M.T. Niles