Congress Deals Industry Two Wins, One Loss

Industry backers of three key international trade issues have won two victories and suffered one defeat in Congress this week

On Wednesday the House voted, by a 166-64 margin, to defeat a resolution that would have blocked President Clinton's decision to continue normal trade relations (NTR) with China. Because no similar resolution of disapproval has been introduced in the Senate, the House vote means that China will receive NTR trade status --previously called "most favored nation" -- for at least another year.

Earlier in the week the Senate Finance Committee overwhelmingly approved "fast track" trade negotiating authority for the White House. The legislation, which requires an up or down vote on trade agreements within a specified period of time, now heads for the Senate floor. The House has yet to act on the measure.

On a third action, however, developments aren't so positive from an industry perspective. The House Appropriations Committee has postponed until fall a vote on industry-backed legislation that would provide full funding for the International Monetary Fund. Spurring the decision was opposition from conservatives, who have threatened a floor fight over the measure.

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