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Archive for Saturday, August 1, 1998

TRADE STATUS

August 1, 1998

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To the editor:

Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives renewed Most Favored Nation status to China (MFN). Despite the arguments put forth by small but vocal groups opposing MFN, Vince Snowbarger, Olathe, had the vision and wisdom to support this vital initiative.

Critics of the measure believe we should end our trading relationship with China citing the Chinese government's record on human rights. No one argues that the relationship between the United States and China is easy or the solutions simple.

But blindly turning our backs on China, as some would have us do, not only would have been economically devastating to Kansas exporters, but irresponsible to those fighting for human rights in China. Pat Robertson of the Christian Broadcasting Network wrote in the June 30 Wall Street Journal: ``A truly moral position (supporting MFN) would do two things: First it would honor those who have fallen by pursuing their last dreams and helping China reform from within. Second, it would open, not shut, the door to the message of freedom and of God's love.''

American business has no argument with advocates of religious freedom, or human rights, or others who so steadfastly seek social and cultural progress in China. American business can point to a positive record of contributing toward China's slow transformation and accomplishing it with American workers, materials and know-how.

M-PACT in Eudora is a small but growing company that is reaching out to the vast market in China. Our 100-plus workers rely heavily on international trade. Should we lose access to the market in China, it would drastically limit the opportunities our employees currently enjoy, and we would not be able to provide numerous new opportunities.

For Kansans and for the 200,000 other Americans whose jobs directly depend on continuing or expanding U.S. trade with China and the tens of thousands of others working in industries related to such trade, there is a clear reality.

The United States is the greatest trading nation on Earth, our workforce the most skilled and productive, and our standard of living the highest. But to continue to enjoy those benefits, the United States must remain competitive not only in our own backyard, but in marketplaces around the world. If we don't, our competitors will claim American success as their own.

We have Congressman Snowbarger and all those who supported renewing MFN for China to thank for letting us continue to lead the world in trade and helping transform China to a system of ideals based on freedom.

James C. Martin,

president and CEO

M-PACT

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