HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 92-4751, by Representatives Valle, Heavey, G. Cole, Jacobsen, Franklin, R. King, Dellwo, Rust, Jones and Nelson


     WHEREAS, The United States government has a responsibility to promote and defend the interests of the people within its borders; and

     WHEREAS, In 1990 the United States recorded its seventh consecutive year of merchandise trade deficits in excess of one hundred billion dollars; and

     WHEREAS, American workers have seen a thirteen percent decline in average weekly earnings between 1978 and 1990, from four hundred dollars to three hundred forty-six dollars as measured in constant 1990 dollars; and

     WHEREAS, The United States trade deficit may threaten our country with a continued loss of jobs, declining income, growing international debt, and further giveaways of technology and markets; and

     WHEREAS, A significant portion of United States raw materials destined for export should be processed in this country, and in particular products such as grain and logs should be processed in the State of Washington; and

     WHEREAS, The United States maritime industry should be revived through actions designed to substantially increase the portion of cargo carried in United States flag ships, to strengthen United States shipbuilding, to eliminate foreign barriers to United States transport carriers involved in international commerce, and to eliminate unfair trade practices in the shipbuilding industry; and

     WHEREAS, While the economy has been hurt by the loss of two million manufacturing jobs in the 1980s, jobs that usually pay good wages, the export of office jobs and other service-sector jobs must also be curbed; and

     WHEREAS, The proposed North American Free Trade Agreement could encourage employers to transfer jobs from this country to Mexico to save on labor costs, since no matter how productive American workers might be, Mexican wages, often less than a dollar an hour and can range as low as the minimum wage of fifty-nine cents an hour, are less than one-tenth of United States wages; and

     WHEREAS, The State of Washington, by virtue of its abundant resources, its advantageous geographic position, its favorable industrial base, and its heritage, is a focus of international trade; and

     WHEREAS, One out of five jobs in Washington depend on trade, from those who build aircraft and those who work on the docks unloading imported products, to those in countless other occupations who perform jobs that are linked directly or indirectly with international trade; and

     WHEREAS, United States industry must also make more vigorous efforts to enhance its competitiveness and appeal to foreign consumers, as in the automobile industry where United States manufacturers should offer small cars with right-side steering to appeal to potential customers in Japan;

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the State of Washington and the United States should strengthen our economy and support jobs in our state and our country by enhancing international trade, particularly exports, through promotion of fair trade policies; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program should be extended and fully funded to provide adequate compensation to those unemployed because of foreign trade competition, and to improve training, job search, and relocation aid for displaced workers.