Skip to main content
ad info

 
CNN.com Allpoliticsallpolitics.comwith TIME
CNN.com EUROPE:
  Editions|myCNN|Video|Audio|News Brief|Free E-mail|Feedback  
 

Search


Search tips
POLITICS
TOP STORIES

Bush unveiling religious-based charity plan

Bush and family attend largely black church

Bush appears to make encouraging first impression

Bush Cabinet will meet over California power crisis

Former first lady says Reagans repaid Bel Air home with interest

Lockhart defends Clintons as GOP criticizes gifts, pardons, pranks

(MORE)

TOP STORIES

Indian PM witnesses quake devastation

EU considers tighter BSE controls

Alpine tunnel tops summit agenda

Bill Gates to address Davos

(MORE)

 MARKETS    1613 GMT, 12/28
5217.4
-25.00
5160.1
+42.97
4624.58
+33.42

 
SPORTS

(MORE)

 All Scoreboards
WEATHER
European Forecast

 Or choose another Region:
EUROPE

WORLD

TECHNOLOGY

ENTERTAINMENT

  IN OTHER NEWS

U.S.

HEALTH

TRAVEL



(MORE HEADLINES)
EDITIONS:
CNN.com U.S.:
*

LOCAL LANGUAGES:


MULTIMEDIA:

CNN WEB SITES:

CNN NETWORKS:
CNN International

TIME INC. SITES:

SITE INFO:

WEB SERVICES:

Senate clears way for final vote on China trade bill

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Clearing a major legislative hurdle, the Senate moved one step closer Wednesday to granting permanent normal trade status to China.

By a vote of 65-32, lawmakers effectively defeated an amendment that would have required the president to penalize China and other countries if the United States determined they were selling nuclear material or weapons of mass destruction.

Republican leaders say a final vote on establishing permanent trade relations with China, which President Clinton calls a top priority, should occur early next week. The bill is expected to pass overwhelmingly.

The Senate voted Wednesday to kill the amendment sponsored by Sens. Fred Thompson, R-Tennessee, and Robert Torricelli, D-New Jersey, that would have set up an annual presidential review of weapons proliferation in "key supplier countries" including China, North Korea and Russia. The amendment would have forced the United States to sanction the countries determined "proliferators."

Opponents of the proliferation measure fell into two camps. Some senators oppose the measure for substantive reasons, saying it sends the wrong signal and would alienate the Chinese at a time when engagement is crucial. Other senators voted against the amendment because it would have changed an underlying trade bill that passed in the House of Representatives in May by a 237-197 vote. The change would have forced the House to vote on the bill again.

Thompson and other supporters argued the threat of penalties for weapons sales, particularly to so-called "nations of concern" or other questionable sources, is essential before the United States grants China permanent trade status. He accused the Senate of putting economic gain in front of its duty of ensuring national security because of big business' political power.

"These little people who strut around up here making implied threats on campaign contributions and warning us how to vote for this, that, and the other, who don't know what they are talking about, need to be taken down a notch or two," Thompson said.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a key supporter of the trade bill, and other business groups had lobbyists feverishly working senators' offices to make sure Thompson's measure was defeated.

Supporters of the trade legislation from the White House to the business community urged Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Mississippi, to bring the measure to the Senate floor before the August recess. Lott refused, saying the Senate needed to first work on spending measures.

The White House counts the bill's passage as one of Clinton's top priorities before he leaves office.

 
RELATED STORIES


RELATED SITES



MORE STORIES:

Wednesday, September 13, 2000


 Search   


Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.