TEN THOUSAND CITIZENS TELL CONGRESS TO PASS PERMANENT NORMAL TRADE RELATIONS WITH CHINA | Citizens Against Government Waste

TEN THOUSAND CITIZENS TELL CONGRESS TO PASS PERMANENT NORMAL TRADE RELATIONS WITH CHINA

Press Release

For Immediate ReleaseContact: Jim Campi or Aaron Taylor
May 22, 2000(202) 467-5300

 

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), America’s largest taxpayer watchdog group, today announced that more than 10,000 of the organization’s members and supporters have written to their members of Congress, urging them to vote in favor of Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) for China.

“Don’t doubt for a moment that the issue of free trade is of vital interest to concerned taxpayers across this country,” said CCAGW President Thomas Schatz.  “Americans who care about keeping the economy growing and the federal budget free of red ink know that additional markets must be opened for our goods.  Taxpayers are organized en masse to tell Washington about the importance of passing PNTR.”

It is estimated that opening the Chinese market to American goods will generate up to $13.9 billion in increased exports in the first five years.  “These exports help fuel the economic engine that has led to the longest period of sustained economic expansion in American history and the first budget surplus in 30 years,” Schatz stated.

Schatz noted that the gains in agricultural trade would be especially beneficial to taxpayers.  Nearly every year, Congress passes an “emergency” bailout appropriation for struggling farmers.  Last year it was almost $11 billion.  The Department of Agriculture estimates that American farmers will reap $2.2 billion more every year by increasing exports to China.  “This windfall will help ease the real farm crisis in the heartland, and the artificial crisis Washington,” Schatz continued.

Schatz also expressed concern that the increasingly political nature of the PNTR debate could be disastrous for budget discipline.  “Media reports indicate that some members of Congress are playing a cynical pork-barrel political game with the issue of free trade.  They are sitting on the fence, demanding that pet projects be funded in exchange for their vote on PNTR.  It’s time for these members to get their noses out of the trough and do what’s right for taxpayers — pass PNTR,” Schatz concluded.

CCAGW is the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government.

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