Summers Calls On Congress To Approve W-T-O Membership For China

By Jim Burns | July 7, 2008 | 8:07 PM EDT

( - Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers on Friday called on Congress to approve China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Summers told a meeting of the Institute For International Economics in Washington, "One of the most important judgments the Congress will make this year is whether to allow China's entry into the WTO (World Trade Organization). I think it's enormously important for our country. China's accession into the WTO serves American interests. It serves them very directly in terms of market access to American firms, in terms of exports."

China also benefits from W-T-O membership in other ways, Summers said.

"It serves them in different ways through the changes in the internal dynamics within China that tend to reinforce all those forces within China that are most congenial to our interests, in both an economic, and, in a deeper global sense. I think in the broadest foreign policy sense, we as a country have enormous interests respecting China and have to be a part of the international community, respecting international rules," Summers said.

Representative Philip Crane (R-IL), who led a House delegation to the WTO (World Trade Organization) summit meeting, told a news conference in Washington after that meeting that he supports both China and Taiwan becoming members of the WTO.

A spokesman for Crane on Capitol Hill told on Friday that Crane still maintains that position.

"I would hope that the (Clinton) administration would get organized and make a full-court press and get back to work on trying to advance WTO, and that especially includes advancing membership in WTO for mainland China and Taiwan," Crane said.

Another goal of Crane's is to give China permanent Normal Trade Relations (NTR) status.