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Clinton Pushes For China Trade

With the support of high-technology executives and moderate Democrats, President Clinton Monday continued his push for normal trade relations with China.

With San Jose's Technology Museum of Innovation serving as his backdrop, Mr. Clinton was to tout the benefits of trade with China to members of the moderate Democratic Leadership Council. Both the DLC and the high-tech community are strong supporters of granting permanent normal trade relations with China.

"We've done a number of events to highlight the broad support for this trade agreement with China," White House spokesman Jake Siewert said. "Only in Washington is this a tough call."

Some House Democrats and organized labor oppose the trade agreement. But the DLC and President Clinton have used their support of free trade as evidence that they are different from the old liberal Democratic politicians of the past.

The pro-trade faction of the party is finding allies among the growing high-technology industry. High-tech companies have begun a major lobbying campaign in support of China trade.

High-tech companies and the people who run them have become a major source of campaign giving. Upon arriving from Las Vegas Sunday evening, Mr. Clinton went straight to a fund-raiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The event, expected to raise $1.1 million, was held at the home of Jim Jorgensen, chief executive officer of, a 1-year-old Internet company, and was co-hosted by other high-tech industry executives.

Around 150 people, who paid at least $5,000 each to attend the event, joined the president and his daughter, Chelsea; House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt; California Gov. Gray Davis; and several area congressional candidates for chicken skewers, grilled salmon and chocolate cupcakes.

"Don't let this election be about little things. And don't let this election be about divisive things," Mr. Clinton said. "We've got the chance of a lifetime to build the future of our dreams."

Earlier in the day, Mr. Clinton raised $525,000 for the Democratic National Committee at two fund-raisers in Las Vegas.

In his talk to the party faithful, President Clinton said voters must choose between the short-term gratification of an outsized Republican tax cut or the long-term satisfaction of knowing the money will keep safety-net programs like Medicare and Social Security in the black for another generation of retiring Americans.

"This is a moment for making tomorrows. This is not a moment for indulging ourselves in all this good stuff that's going on today," Mr. Clinton said. "Are we going to pick leaders that we know understand the future and can take us there, or are we going to pick people who say things we like to hear and may make things easier for a month or two?"

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