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November 30, 1994 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-11-30

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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___--~ ~~~ n mici gan IVI uIaI~iiy - weanesaa~Uy, Novemnier 3V, ILJ' -
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade vote passes U.S. House of Representatives
ost M ichigan <t <I GATT Republican leaders who are support- that he believed the Senate would
| I ing GATT. pass the deal in a close vote.



*vote for GATt
WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. House easily
passed a tariff-cutting trade agreement yesterday in a
288-146 vote, with nine members of Michigan's congres-
sional delegation endorsing it.
All six Michigan Republicans approved it, along with
three of the 10 Democrats -Sander Levin, John Dingell
and Bob Carr.
The GATT agreement, a 123-nation pact seven years
*n the making, would slash worldwide tariffs by a third
extend global trade rules to copyrights and other areas, and
create a new World Trade Organization to mediate trade
"Let me get to thejugular issue -the likely impact on
typical hard working families...whose income has lost
ground," Levin (D-Southfield) told his House colleagues.
"Many of those families will benefit, not be harmed by
the agreement... because tariffs in other nations will
come down more than ours. Ours are already low," said
Levin, who worked on the legislation in the Ways and
leans Committee.
Levin called competition with low-wage nations "a
roblem and achallenge." But he said it was "a mistake to
place this issue on the doorstep of this GATT agreement."
The vote peeled three Michigan Democrats off the rolls
cn Free Trade Agreement last fall. That agreement -
which lowered trade barriers among Mexico, the United
States and Canada - had separated the Michigan delega-
.ti. clearly between the 10 Democrats, who voted against
t; and the five Republicans, who voted for it.
- But GATT has failed to produce the same rallying cry
among the public as NAFTA did. That opposition was
dominated by Ross Perot's description of a giant "sucking
sound" asjobs supposedly went south to Mexico- where
-wages are far lower.
On the House floor yesterday, Michigan's Republicans
pointed to the subsequent success of NAFTA in boosting
the U.S. economy and benefiting Michigan products such
autos and farming.
Rep. David Camp (R-Midland) said NAFTA has been
boost to Michigan and the nation - and GATT would do
the same.
"NAFTA has been a great help to the economy of my
state of Michigan, despite the cries that the sky would fall
if NAFTA was passed," Camp said. "The facts are clear...
free trade works."
GATT supporters include American automakers and
large exporting companies such as Dow Chemical Co., a
top-10 exporter of goods in the United States. The United
Auto Workers union and other labor unions and environ-
+Sental groups opposed GATT, arguing it would be a step
ack for workers rights and environmental laws.
The agreement is expected to be put to a vote tomorrow
in the Senate, where atleast 60 votes are required to suspend
Senate rules requiring all measures to pay for themselves.

Continued from page 1
fully debate the surrender of
American's authority to the World
Trade Organization," said Rep. Marcy
Kaptur (D-Ohio). She complained that
only four hours were set aside for the
House debate.
At the White House, Clinton met
with 75 uncommitted House mem-
bers and with both Democratic and

The administration sought to stress
Clinton's bipartisan approach as a
model for how he will deal with a
Congress next year that will for the
first time in 40 years be controlled in
both the House and Senate by Repub-
Senate Republican leader Bob
Dole, who announced his support last
week, said from Brussels, Belgium,

Support for the trade agreement,
retiring Minority Leader Robert
Michel (R.-Ill.) observed, "obviously
does not cut right down the center
The GATT debate marked the first
time in 12 years and only the 10th
time since 1940 that Congress has
returned after the November elections
to take up legislation.

Rice farmers march down the streets of downtown Seoul
yesterday, protesting the new world trade agreement.
CIinIton p 10,raisoles
House deision
The Washington Post
WASHINGTON -- President Clinton praised Congress
yesterday after the House endorsed his legislation to imple-
ment an expanded General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.
Clinton hailed the outcome as a "historic vote for
American workers, farmers and families" and then turned
his attention to the next and last congressional vote facing
the world trade agreement.
"The eyes of the world are now on the United States
Senate," Clinton said. "I can call on the Senate to pass
GATT with the same strong, bipartisan support as it
received in the House of Representatives."
The world trade agreement, negotiated by three presi-
dents over seven years, would reduce trade barriers, cover
services for the first time and create a World Trade Orga-
nization to enforce compliance. Member nations have
agreed to put the new rules into effect Jan. 1.
Outgoing House Speaker Thomas Foley (D-Wash.)
and retiring Minority Leader Robert Michel (R-Ill.) hold-
overs from a past era of bipartisan comity in the House,
closed the five-hour debate with twin speeches in favor of
the trade agreement. Both received ovations from Demo-
crats and Republicans in the chamber.


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