California Democrat proposes revocation of China's favored trading status

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) introduced legislation Wednesday to revoke China’s Most Favored Nation (MFN) trading status until President Obama negotiates a “more level playing field” on trade. 

Sherman, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee's Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade, said granting MFN status to China has failed to deliver the benefits touted by supporters.

“The U.S.-China trade relationship is horrendously lopsided, and it has not lived up to the promises of those who encouraged us to give preferential trade treatment to China,” Sherman said in a statement.

The United States made MFN status for China permanent on Oct. 10, 2000.  

Sherman said claims from MNF advocates that the move would create jobs and boost the U.S. economy have not materialized.

“Unfortunately, we have seen the opposite occur,” he said.

He accused China of abusing its trade relationship with the United States by engaging in unfair practices like currency manipulation and piracy of intellectual property. 

Sherman’s bill would revoke China’s MFN status for six months and direct the president to negotiate a new trading relationship with China with an aim toward eliminating the U.S.-China trade imbalance within four years.

The United States’ trade deficit with China has grown from approximately $84 billion in 2000 to nearly $227 billion in 2009.

The deficit was $71 billion for the first four months of 2010.

Sherman was joined by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), ranking member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, in introducing the legislation.
Reps. Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.), Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Steve Kagen (D-Wis.),