Opening Statements of Committee Members

Opening Statement of Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY)

Hearing on The World Trade Organization:
The Seattle Ministerial and Millennium Negotiations

Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank Ambassador Barshefsky for testifying today.

Obviously, it is very important to open up foreign markets to not only the goods our country produces, but also its services. As the service industries become more and more important part of our overall economy, we must find new markets in order to sustain the economic growth we have enjoyed for the last several years. We must ensure that the WTO does create a level playing field. We must also ensure that when a country does create barriers, the WTO moves quickly and effectively in order to knock those barriers down.

As you know, we and the WTO have been fighting with the European Union for a number of years on barriers they have created to keep American agricultural products out of their markets. The WTO tells them their barriers are illegal but the EU leaves the barriers in place. We must be aggressive in dealing with the Europeans and make sure these barriers do come down. We must also make sure that the Europeans do not start acting the same way toward our service sector. We must ensure that the EU complies with the WTO as we do, otherwise we have unilateral disarmament in trade. It is incumbent upon the administration to put as much pressure as possible to ensure these trade barriers are removed.

I feel I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to speak on the Peoples Republic of China's possible entry into the WTO. I oppose allowing mainland China into the WTO. I don't think the PRC should even be considered for the WTO until they open their agriculture markets, their manufacturing markets and reform their state-owned and subsidized industries. Allowing the PRC into the WTO before all of these problems are addressed would once again be unilateral trade disarmament. We should also make sure that the PRC does not use undue pressure to keep Taiwan out of the WTO. We should exert pressure to ensure Taiwan's application to join the WTO is accepted.

Ambassador Barshefsky has a very difficult job ahead of her, and I wish her good luck in the up coming talks. Thank you Mr. Chairman.