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CHINA: China WTO Deal Imminent

Associated Press
August 1st, 2000

Mexico expects to sign an agreement with China ''very soon'' on the communist nation's entry into the World Trade Organization, Mexico's foreign minister said Tuesday.

Mexican agreement would leave Switzerland as the only WTO member that has yet to sign off on China's 14-year quest to join global trade's rule-making club.

Mexican Foreign Minister Rosario Green gave no details on the talks but said: ''We will conclude our negotiations and sign the agreement very soon.''

Once China has Mexico and Switzerland's agreement, it must negotiate details of its membership with the WTO. China says it wants to join the body this year.

Green is visiting China along with the foreign ministers of Colombia and Chile to further relations between the 19-nation Rio Group of Latin American countries and Beijing. The ministers met Monday with Chinese leaders, including President Jiang Zemin.

Green said annual China-Mexico trade is valued at more than $2 billion but that Mexico has a trade deficit with Beijing.

''We should make more efforts to achieve a balance of trade,'' she said.

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