Letter to the Speaker of
the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate on Trade With Hungary and China
June 3, 1988
Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
hereby transmit the documents referred to in subsection 402(d)(5)
of the Trade Act of 1974 with respect to a further 12-month extension of the
authority to waive subsections (a) and (b) of section 402 of the Act. These
documents constitute my decision to continue in effect this waiver authority
for a further 12-month period.
include as part of these documents my determination that further extension of
the waiver authority will substantially promote the objectives of section 402.
I also include my determination that continuation of the waivers applicable to
the Hungarian People's Republic and the People's Republic of China will substantially
promote the objectives of section 402. The attached documents also include my
reasons for extension of the waiver authority, and for my determination that
continuation of the waivers currently in effect for the Hungarian People's
Republic and the People's Republic of China will substantially
promote the objectives of section 402.
to Congress Concerning Extension of Waiver Authority
to subsection 402(d)(5) of the Trade Act of 1974
(hereinafter ``the Act''), I have today determined that further extension of
the waiver authority granted by subsection 402(c) of the Act for 12 months will
substantially promote the objectives of section 402 and that continuation of
the waivers currently applicable to the Hungarian People's Republic and the
People's Republic of China will also substantially promote the objectives of section
402 of the Act. My determination is attached and is incorporated herein.
general waiver authority conferred by section 402 of the Act is an important
means for the strengthening of mutually beneficial relations between the United States and certain countries
and the People's Republic of China. The waiver authority
has permitted us to conclude and maintain in force bilateral trade agreements
with Hungary, Romania, and the People's
Republic of China. These agreements
continue to be fundamental elements in our political and economic relations
with those countries, including important exchanges on emigration and human
rights matters. Granting of Most Favored Nation (MFN) status pursuant to these
agreements gives U.S. companies the ability
to compete in those markets. Moreover, continuation of the waiver authority
would permit future expansion of our bilateral relations with other countries
now subject to subsections 402 (a) and (b) of the Act, should circumstances
permit. I believe that these considerations clearly warrant this renewal of the
general waiver authority.
continue to believe that extending the current waivers applicable to Hungary and the People's
Republic of China will substantially
promote the objectives of section 402 of the Act.
Hungary. Hungary has continued to take a
relatively positive and constructive approach to emigration matters. Nearly all
Hungarians who are eligible to apply to emigrate for purposes of family
reunification receive permission to depart. During the past year there have
been, in fact, no instances of refusal of emigration permission in family
reunification cases. The American Embassy in Budapest issued 139 immigrant
visas in 1987, considerably more than the number issued for 1986 (102). There
have been no divided family cases since the spring of 1987, when the three
cases brought to the Foreign Ministry's attention in January 1987 were
resolved. Although there are some restrictions on emigration, there are no
systematic official sanctions imposed on persons seeking to emigrate.
People's Republic of China. Although China's population will
shortly exceed 1.1 billion persons, only 10 percent of the country's land area
is suitable for farming. China's standard of living is
low -- per capita GNP was under $300 in 1987; urban overcrowding is endemic;
and unemployment is a growing problem. In consequence, China faces exceptional
challenges to adequately feed and house even its present population.
Furthermore, birth rates have recently picked up again and are adding another
12 - 13 million people each year to the population. If present trends continue,
China's population will
exceed 1.25 billion by the year 2000. These circumstances contribute to the
maintenance of a relatively open emigration policy. In addition, the Chinese
Government, as part of its policies of economic reform and opening to the
outside world, continues to encourage students, scientists, and industrial
managers to travel to Western countries for training and orientation. The principal
limitation on increased emigration appears not to be Chinese policy, but the
ability and willingness of other nations to absorb Chinese immigrants.
China's relatively liberal
policy on emigration is reflected in the steadily rising number of immigrant
visas issued by our embassy and consulates in China since the normalization
of relations in 1979. In Fiscal Year 1987, our China posts issued 16,263
immigrant visas (versus 14,051 in FY 1986) and 50,519 non-immigrant visas
(versus 44,254 in FY 1986). This represents a rise of 16 percent for immigrants
and 14 percent for non-immigrants. Non-immigrant visas were issued to Chinese
who wished to study, conduct business, and visit relatives in the United States. Other Western
countries continue to experience increases in Chinese travel and emigration.
the above reasons, I have determined that continuation of the waivers for Hungary and the People's
Republic of China will substantially
promote the objectives of the Act.
Romania. Since Romania has renounced extension
of Most-Favored-Nation tariff treatment by the United States conditioned on the
requirements of section 402 of the Act, I am permitting the waiver for Romania to expire on July
Note: The letter was
released by the Office of the Press Secretary on June 4.