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How The Texas Delegation Lines Up On NAFTA MOST OF THE TEXAS Congressional delegation is currently inclined to support NAFTA, according to a Dallas Morning News report. The News’ Washington reporter, Anne Marie Kilday, used a quote from Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison to frame the pro-NAFTA argument. To focus the anti-NAFTA argument, Democratic San Antonio Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez was quoted. “NAFTA is another one of those treaties that will have long term benefits for our country. [But] I think we will have a real tough fight on NAFTA…. 50 percent of the people in this country do not know what NAFTA is. And that is a tragedy,” said Hutchison. “Not only will U.S. workers be at risk of losing their jobs, but the taxpayer may be liable for losses incurred by U.S. insured financial institutions as they invest in the highly speculative and volatile Mexican market,” said Gonzalez, chair of the House Banking Committee. To define the undecided vote, the News quoteed freshman Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, a Dallas Democrat: “I don’t know if it’s a good idea or a bad idea for us to ratify it. There’s so much that confuses the picture,” Johnson said. Much of the opposition to NAFTA, however, comes from the Black Congressional Caucus, whose members see the loss of manufacturing jobs as a threat to African-American workers in the United States. What follows is a list of Texas House and Senate members and their current position on NAFTA, according to the Dallas Morning News. U.S. HOUSE Mike Andrews Bill Archer Dick Armey Joe Barton Henry Bonilla Jack Brooks John Bryant Jim Chapman Ron Coleman Larry Combest Kika de la Garza Tom Delay Chet Edwards Jack Fields Martin Frost Pete Geren Henry Gonzalez Gene Green Ralph Hall Eddie B. Johnson Sam Johnson Greg Laughlin Solomon Ortiz J.J. Pickle Bill Sarpalius Lamar Smith Charles Stenholm Frank Tejeda Craig Washington Charles Wilson U.S. SENATE Phil Gramm Kay B. Hutchison OF REPRESENTATIVES D-Houston R-Houston R-Lewisville R-Ennis R-San Antonio D-Beaumont D-Dallas D-Sulphur Springs D-El Paso R-Lubbock D-Mission R-Sugar Land D-Waco R-Humble D-Dallas D-Fort Worth D-San Antonio D-Houston D-Rockwall D-Dallas R-Dallas D-W. Columbia D-Corpus Christi D-Austi n D-Amarillo R-San Antonio D-Stamford D-San Antonio D-Houston D-Lufki n R-College Station R-Dallas Yes Yes Yes Yes Leaning Yes Yes Yes No Undecided Leaning Yes Yes Undecided Yes Yes Leaning Yes Yes Undecided Yes No Undecided Yes Undecided Leaning Yes Yes Yes Yes Undecided Yes Yes Yes No No behind Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaign. Today they want to give Clinton a chance, but they find themselves increasingly allied with Ross Perot. For many people, trade issues are too arcane to fathom. \(In a July New York Times poll, half of those questioned said they did not know enough about NAFTA and GATT to heartland, trade is like baseball. Since the turn of the century, agriculture has been the biggest business in America, and everything has depended on extending William Jackson Turner’s frontier into foreign nations in the form of markets for American farm products. Increasingly those markets have been controlled by a handful of big agribusiness concerns like Cargill. The farm movement of the 1980s not only opposed these firms, which were strangling small farmers, but sought to further open up markets abroad. That aim led Ritchie and others first to fight GATT, later the CanadianU.S. trade agreements, and ultimately NAFTA. They saw these rules as not just effecting narrow terms of trade, but leading to a whole series of radical changes within the United States. The Reagan Administration had already begun planning for GATT by 1984. As we now know from a secret trade memo unearthed by North Carolina’s Senator Jesse Helms, Reagan had already decided to sell out farmers and blue collar workers especially in textiles, autos, and steel to win concessions in GATT for service and other industries. In the fall of 1987, during the Iowa presidential primary campaign, the late Dixon Terry, a local farmer who became a catalyst for populist politics in the state, questioned the Democratic candidates on GATT, and began to argue that the treaty would be a disaster for small farmers. Around the same time, Ritchie met Steven Shrybman, counsel to the Canadian Environmental Law Association, who had worked as an aide within the New Democratic Party when it briefly governed Canada. Shrybman was the first to point out the environmental implications of the trade pacts, and Ritchie arranged for him to come to Washington for workshops. The National Toxics campaign, with its ties to thousands of grassroots groups around the country, jumped in, arguing that the repeatedly reduced farm prices forced farmers to use more and more pesticides to intensify production. Small farmers in Iowa pushed the local Sierra Club into active opposition to GATT. By 1990 Ritchie had developed an international network of several thousand. The campaign against GATT and NAFTA took on momentum when Ralph Nader’s Public Citizen got involved. Lori Wallach, a young lawyer who previously had worked on a Nader-inspired project to reform the Harvard law school along with Ritchie and union representatives, notably the United Food and Commercial Workerscreated the Citizen’s Trade Campaign, which has now has staff in 40 states. “I found out about it by accident,” said Wallach, who had been working for Public Citizen on pesticide regulations at the time. “I would be doing my food safety work and the lobbyists would say go ahead and do it THE TEXAS OBSERVER 13 .14.,40.ifbruorf