Why Be Normal?
House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.) will oppose granting China permanent normal trade relations, arguing that a trade deal with the country needs to encompass greater protections for the environment, human rights, and organized labor. Gephardt’s decision, which he is set to announce tomorrow, is a big setback for the Clinton-Gore administration, which has made the trade deal with China a top priority. And it’s a boost for environmental and other groups that have mobilized against the China deal. “We hope the minority leader’s announcement will send a strong signal to the House that a vote against [the bill] is a vote for the environment, human rights, and labor,” said Courtney Cuff of Friends of the Earth.