Congress is scheduled to vote tomorrow on whether to grant permanent normal trading relations to China. President Clinton has called the pact essential on moral, economic and national security grounds.
Proponents and opponents alike agreed that neither side had secured the 218 House votes needed to pass or kill the measure, one of the most bitterly debated issues of Clinton’s presidency. Thus they continued to woo the few dozen undecided members whose yeas or nays will determine the outcome in tomorrow’s scheduled roll call.
In a speech this week, President Clinton gave special emphasis to the issue of human rights in China, saying the human rights situation there will improve if the nation is forced to abide by international laws and customs governing trade.
In past years, Congress has conducted an annual debate and vote on whether to continue normal trade relations with China. Clinton, most GOP leaders and major business groups want to make those normal trade relations permanent.
- Charles Kernagen, director of the National Labor Committee in New York.