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The “China Shock” in Context: Understanding Normalized Trade with China and Its Role in Contemporary Policy Discussions

In October 2000, President Bill Clinton signed legislation granting China “permanent normal trade relations” (PNTR), which paved the way for Beijing’s entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001. As we near the 20th anniversary of PNTR, the controversial policy is still relevant to contemporary political discussions. Indeed, critics, including politicians and pundits, contend that Beijing’s admission to the WTO led to a substantial increase of imports from China, which they argue displaced millions of American jobs and created a slower-than-expected labor-market adjustment that helped fuel rising drug abuse, declining fertility rates and a myriad of other social problems.

Yet, a new paper from the Cato Institute’s Scott Lincicome surveys the policy landscape surrounding trade with China and finds the popular narrative fatally lacking in several critical ways. We invite you to join a webinar that will dispel a number of myths surrounding normalized trade with China and will offer concrete ideas to improve the commercial relationship between Washington and Beijing.


Clark Packard (Moderator), Resident Fellow and Trade Policy Counsel, R Street Institute

Scott Lincicome, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute, and Visiting Lecturer, Duke University Law School

Dr. Mary Lovely, Professor of Economics, Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics

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