Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)
– U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced he and Senator Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota) will introduce a bill to revoke China’s Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status. Since granting PNTR status in 2001, the U.S trade deficit with China has doubled to more than $200 billion last year.
“This legislation is a reaction to the Chinese government’s economic and human rights policies that have only gotten worse – across the board – since they were given PNTR status,” said Graham. “On every front, China is marching backwards. They continue to violate normal business practices by manipulating their currency. They do not respect intellectual property to the detriment of the entrepreneurs of the world.”
Graham noted the Chinese government forcing companies based in the United States to help restrict Internet access as a cost of doing business in the country as one further example of government oppression and economic manipulation.
“The Chinese are policing Internet services provided by American companies and as a result of this practice, Chinese citizens have been jailed,” said Graham. “The tipping point was when the Chinese seized email and sentenced a reporter to ten years in prison. On all fronts, China is engaging in practices that could not reasonably be considered normal within the international community.”
The Graham bill would require Congress to grant normal trade relations status to China on an annual basis.