CCIA Urges Strong U.S.-China Trade Ties As Deadline for Renewing MFN Draws Near

May 5, 1997

(Washington, D.C.) The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) today urged President Clinton to maintain strong commercial relations with China and not give in to pressures to renew China’s Most-Favored-Nation status for less than one full year.

In a letter to President Clinton, CCIA President Ed Black writes, “CCIA applauds this Administration’s policy of engagement with China on the range of issues which face our two nations. Despite occasional setbacks and challenges, we believe the best opportunity to continue improving the overall situation in China, and for promoting greater freedom and prosperity, is through the continuation of China’s market-oriented reforms. Vigilant U.S. political and economic engagement remains crucial and the U.S. must stay focused on encouraging long-term progress.

“MFN is the foundation of our relationship with China, which supports billions of dollars in trade and hundreds of thousands of jobs. Ensuring the renewal of China’s MFN status is of particular concern to our industry. China is now undertaking a massive modernization and expansion of its communications and information infrastructure, which could generate up to $90 billion in orders for equipment in the next few years. Furthermore, China is a major supplier of certain consumer telephone products which are not produced within the United States.

“We look forward to continuing to work with you in educating Congress and the public as to the importance of maintaining strong U.S.-China ties. We also ask for your assistance, when the appropriate time comes, in advocating permanent MFN status for China, so that the U.S.-China relationship may move past these damaging yearly debates.”

CCIA is an association of computer and communications firms, as represented by their most senior executives. Small, medium, and large in size, our members include equipment manufacturers, software developers, telecommunications and on-line providers, re-sellers, systems integrators, third- party vendors, and others involved in industry-related business ventures. Our member companies employ over a half-million workers and generate annual revenues of nearly $200 billion.

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