“This week is the 20th anniversary of granting China permanent most favored nation status. Something that Joe Biden voted for and he still defends til this day. Even though making that most favored nation status permanent and putting in an autopilot every year led to the so-called China shock when we sent millions and millions of our manufacturing jobs to China,” Cotton told FOX Business' Maria Bartiromo on "Mornings with Maria."
Cotton explained further, “What happened before 2000 is that the president and the Congress would review China’s progress toward being a market-based economy and protecting human rights. There was some pretty fierce debate in the 1990s on an annual basis about Chinese backsliding. Especially, after Tiananmen Square.”
Cotton's comments came after the lawmaker announced Monday that he is introducing legislation to revoke China's permanent most favored status, which guarantees equal treatment opportunity for countries that are members of the World Trade Organization member countries.
Cotton's move would require the president and Congress to assess China's status each year.
Cotton called for the U.S. to apply more pressure on China.
“We need to go back to that approach so that we can keep the pressure on China every year to stop stealing our intellectual property -- to stop stealing all of the products that they have been manufacturing based on American design and engineering. We need to put pressure on them to respect the rights of their own citizens to uphold their international commitments,” Cotton said.
Cotton went on to say, "We ought not to be in a situation where China gets the most favored nation status at a time when they are not upholding their trade obligation. They are shooting missiles at our ships in the south China sea. So, it wouldn’t revoke it but it would be a great point of leverage every year to make sure the Chinese Communist Party is beginning to behave like a responsible actor.”