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September 12, 2000 - Image 16

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-09-12

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16 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 12, 2000
Key votes ahead on China trade legislation

WASHINGTON (AP) - Supporters of
major legislation to permanently normalize
trade with China girded for a key vote on link-
ing trade relations to China's obeying weapons
proliferation agreements.
Sens. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) and Robert
Torricelli (D-N.J.)yesterday proposed an
amendment to the trade bill outlining sanctions
on foreign companies and nations that deal in
weapons of mass destruction.
Thompson said it was wrong to do away
with U.S. trade leverage over China when
"they are engaging in activities that post a
mortal danger to the welfare of this coun-
try."
His amendment is opposed by both the
administration and Senate backers of the trade
bill, who argue that unilateral sanctions don't
work and that approval of any amendment
could effectively scuttle chances for passage

this year.
The House passed the trade bill by a 237-
197 margin last May, but it's unclear whether
the House ha the time or the votes to approve
any Senate changes before Congress adjourns
next month.
Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), a leading sup-
porter of permanent normal trade relations,
said approval of the Thompson amendment
would be a "grave mistake" for the nation. "It
will seriously damage important American
economic interests and if added to the bill, it
will kill PNTR."
No time had been set for a vote on the
amendment. Today the Senate, which last week
defeated several attempts to change the bill,
votes on an amendment offered by Sen. Robert
Byrd, D-W.Va., requiring China to disclose
how it is meeting its commitment to the World
Trade Organization to end subsidies to state

enterpnses that export goods.
China is making final preparations to join
the WTO and failure of Congress to grant per-
manent trade status would deprive American
businesses of the lower tariffs China has agreed
to as part of its WTO accession.
Business groups that avidly support the trade
bill say it will significantly increase U.S.
exports to China, which now enjoys a trade
surplus of near S70 billion a year. The bill is
opposed by labor groups and groups critical of
China's human rights record.
Thompson said he supported the trade bill
but "it is inconceivable to me that while we dis-
cuss trade issues and a new relationship with
China we will not address what China is doing
to endanger our country.,'
He noted a recent CIA report citing China,
Russia and North Korea as the key suppliers of
nuclear, chemical and biological weapons tech-

'.'"it is inconceivable to me that while we
discuss trade issues and a new relationship with
China we will not address what China is doing to
endanger our country.
- Sen. Fred Thompson
Republican of Tennessee

nology, and reports the Chinese were helping
Pakistan, Libya and Iran with their weapons
programs.
The Thompson-Torricelli amendment would
set up an annual review of the weapons sales of
China. Russia and North Korea and require the
president to impose non-trade-related sanctions
on individuals and companies that violate non-

proliferation agreements. The president could
also impose additional sanctions on key suppli-
er nations.
It also requires the Securities and Exchange
Commission to create a procedure to inform
American investors when foreign entities on*
the president's proliferation list invest in U.S.
capital markets.

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First steps
in station
byAtats
astronauts
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fl (AP) -
Astronauts and cosmonlauts swung
open the doors of the international
space station and floated inside late
yesterday after speeding through six
hours of exterior work.
The crew of space shuttle Atlantis
opened the first of 12 hatches leading
into the 140-foot-long station a little
early, entering the outermost vestibule
and then the American module, Unity.
"Welcome aboard," Mission Control
radioed up.
"It's great to be here," replied com-
mander Terrence Wilcutt.
It took a few hours for the seven*
men to make their way through the
complex. The pressure had to be
equalized from one compartment to
another before the doors could be
opened.
The station was warm - about 80
degrees - but the humidity was low.
Wilcutt and his crew seemed comfort-
able as they set up air ducts, took air
samples and consulted their checklists.
They wore white breathing masks and
black goggles in the Russian segments
as a safety precaution.
Earlier in the day, a pair of space-
walkers hooked up cables, installed
a navigation tool and dislodged-a
jammed piece of equipment on the
outside of the space sta.tion. Once
that was accomplished, the crew-
men turned their attention to the
inside.
"Basically, it's a cabin we have that@
we're trying to get some furniture into
and get it ready to move into," said
mission operations director Milt
Heflin.
The space station is almost double
the size it was the last time astronauts
visited in May. Zvezda, the Russian-
made control module and living quar-
ters, was added in late July as the third
section.
Wilcutt led the way into Zvezda
early today."0
It's absolutely beautiful," he said.
With only four days inside the sta-
tion before Atlantis undocks this
weekend, the astronauts and cosmo-
nauts had to work fast. One of their
first chores was to unload 1,300
pounds of gear from a Russian cargo
ship that arrived in August.
Atlantis contains an additional
4,800 pounds of supplies for the three
men who will move in at the begin-
ling of November for a four-month
stay.
NASA was cheered by the sc-
cess of Monday morning's space-
walk by Edward Lu and Yuri
Malenchenko.
About 20 spacewalks are planned
outside the station over the next year
and a half alone. By contrast, Mon-
day's outing was only the 50th in
almost 20 years of space shuttle*
flight.
"We're going to really start getting
into the assembly of the space station
in very short order here, and I feel like
this spacewalk set the tone for what's
about to come," said Mike Hess, the
lead spacewalk officer inside Mission
Control.

During their spacewalk, astronaut
Lu and cosmonaut Malenchenko had
to avoid protruding antennas and
docking targets as they clambered 110
feet up the station. The two wore
American spacesuits, and mixed and
matched American and Russian tools,
while working on Russian compart-
ments.

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