Washington, 10 June 1997 (Robert Lyle) - U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright says that if America revoked its normal trade relations with China, it could send U.S.-China ties into a downward spiral involving the entire region.
President Bill Clinton recently renewed normal trade ties, known as Most-Favored-Nation (MFN), for the next year with China but some members of the U.S. congress want to revoke it as a reaction to Beijing's human rights record.
Testifying before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, Albright defended MFN status, saying "engagement does not mean endorsement." She said the U.S. does not need to end its trade relationship to express its concerns over Chinese human rights or anything else.
U.S. Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky told the committee that ending MFN would seriously harm American exporters who are selling increasing amounts of goods and services to China.