15 May 2000
Hopes high for EU-China deal
OPTIMISM is growing that the EU and China may soon clinch a deal on Beijings entry into the World Trade Organisation.
EU negotiators have made headway in talks with Chinese counterparts, ahead of the arrival on Monday (15 May) of EU trade commissioner Pascal Lamy, reports the Financial Times.
A deal would boost the US administrations campaign to persuade the House of Representatives to approve permanent normal trade relations with China.
A negative US vote would prevent American companies from benefiting from unprecedented tariff reduction and market access concessions made by Beijing.
These were given by China in its WTO deal with the USA last year.
Western diplomats say an EU deal would help impress on the US Congress that if approval was not given, Europe would enjoy advantages in trade with China.