China has been illegally shipping candles and apple concentrate into the U.S., undermining these Georgia industries and exemplifying what a permanent normal trade agreement with that country would be like, U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal of Gainesville told GlobalFax in a telephone interview.
A Habersham County candle manufacturer and apple growers in that area have complained to the congressman of China’s reportedly exporting these products, which are on a list of banned China products, to the U.S. by transshipping them through other countries into North America, said Mr. Deal.
The Republican said he will not vote for normal trade relations with China unless current trading laws with that country are enforced by the U.S.
“This is an example of how permanent normal trade relations with China will be,” he said. “China does not abide by trade laws, and U.S. customs and trade officials don’t enforce them. An agreement is only as good as its enforcement,” he said.
Rep. Mac Collins, a Republican of Jonesboro, voted in favor of the bill as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee last week.
The congressman helped to pass the bill in his committee with a promise from its chairman that language will be added to the legislation requiring a report on the impact that normal trade relations with China will have on the U.S. and Georgia textile industries, according to his spokesman, Doug Graham. Mr. Graham said that Mr. Collins’ vote on the House floor this week will depend on the findings of that report.
Rep. John Lewis, a Democrat of Atlanta who is also on the committee, voted against normalization.
Another Georgia congressman who is undecided on the issue, Rep. Jack Kingston of Savannah, has publicly said he has strong human rights concerns about China, a spokesperson for the Republican congressman told GlobalFax.
Other representatives from this state still undecided are Republican Saxby Chambliss of Macon and Democrat Cynthia McKinney of Decatur.
by Melissa Pracht