Will China Remain A Most Favored Dictatorship?

Congress wants to punish Beijing. Bush and business are fighting back

Call it the rubber-sole lobby. Its motto: "Don't tread on my sneakers." At the behest of shoe importers, tens of thousands of Americans have flooded Capitol Hill with form letters begging Congress not to revoke China's most-favored-nation trading status. These amateur lobbyists may not know much about foreign policy. But they know that the local Wal-Mart sells low-priced shoes made in China, and they fear an approaching Senate vote might cut off the supply of inexpensive sneakers. The grassroots effort may be having an impact: "These days," says a top Senate Democratic aide, "nobody wants to be blamed for raising costs to the middle class."

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