The United States is likely to attach economic and human rights conditions to any extension of most-favored-nation trade status with China, the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said Monday.
Following a five-day mission to lobby for the renewal of the trade status, which allows foreign goods to be imported into the United States at low tariff levels, chamber President Warren Williams said he was pessimistic."When we left Hong Kong we thought that in the end President Bush would manage to get an unconditional extension of MFN," Williams said. "What we found in Washington was that opposition to that extension is very deep in all quarters.
"Extension of MFN will probably not be possible without conditions."
Bush faces a June 3 deadline to decide whether to continue the benefits for China, which expire in July. Despite mounting frustration in Washington on China's human rights record and trade policies, Bush has said he would renew the benefits unconditionally.