Actually it was Bush(41) in 1989 that banned the importation. What he essentially did was to order ATF to re-examine the definition of "sporting firearms." As a result, a whole list of firearms were banned from importation because they had too many "military style" features. Any rifle with a pistol grip and detachable magazine suddenly became "not suitable for sporting purposes."
What Clinton did was make a deal with China. If they would quit importing Norinco AKs, SKSs and ammunition, he would grant them "Most Favored Nation" status.
Unfortunately for him, as a result of the breakup of the USSR, a host of countries were standing by to replace Chicom AKs and the SKS made the C&R list.