Rules Committee Approves PNTR Legislation for House Floor

Rules Committee Approves PNTR Legislation for House Floor
Bipartisan Bereuter-Levin Package Included

WASHINGTON - Calling the expansion of trade with China an "issue of profound importance for America's future and one of the most significant votes Members of Congress will make," House Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-CA) announced the Committee has approved the Floor procedures for legislation expanding American access to Chinese markets by providing Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) to China.

Included in the measure, to be debated on Wednesday, is the bipartisan Bereuter-Levin proposal that provides for an "anti-surge" trade safeguard and the creation of a task force to monitor the use of prison labor, as well as a U.S. human rights monitoring commission modeled after the successful Helsinki Commission.

"Trade with China is a win-win-win for American workers, American businesses and American values. Today China has one-way access to America - we want to pry open China's huge 1.3 billion person marketplace and expand economic freedom and market reforms," Dreier said. "Expanding trade with China is not only the smart thing to do, it's the right thing to do."

The Rules Committee approved a rule providing for three hours of general debate, to be equally divided between the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Committee, in addition to the hour of debate on the rule.

Dreier praised the leadership of Representatives Doug Bereuter (R-NE), Chairman of the Committee on International Relations Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, and Sander Levin (D-MI), Ranking Member of the Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade. A leading free trade advocate in Congress, Dreier has managed the annual whip effort on China trade for the last seven years, and was tapped by Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) to help pass PNTR.