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Roll Call

The House

May 10, 1987

Trade Bill

By a 290-115 vote, the House passed and sent to the Senate a tough, retaliatory measure (HR 3) to help American industry and force cuts in the nation's trade deficit, which reached a record $170 billion in 1986.

Drafted by Democrats and denounced as protectionist by President Reagan, the 896-page bill limits the executive branch's ability to avoid retaliation in combatting trade imbalances and resolving complaints against specific trading partners.

Also, the bill provides additional aid for laid-off workers and relief for import-battered industries, creates a competitiveness council to promote U. S. exports, tries to ease Third World debt repayment problems, imposes certain "Buy American" requirements and sets mechanisms to establish favorable currency exchange rates.

Supporter Jim Wright (D-Tex.) said, "If you are really serious about wanting to improve America's competitiveness, here is your opportunity."

Opponent Bill Gradison (R-Ohio) warned, "If ever there was a case of false advertising, it is to say we can cut the trade deficit by passing protectionist legislation."

Members voting yes favored the trade measure.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Dreier (R) x Rep. Martinez (D) x Rep. Moorhead (R) x Rep. Roybal (D) x Rep. Torres (D) x

Trade Retaliation

By a 218-214 vote, the House amended its trade bill (above) to require the government to force 10% annual reductions in U. S. trade deficits with nations judged to have used unfair tactics to build trade surpluses over America.

The internationally provocative Gephardt amendment was denounced as protectionist by the U. S. Chamber of Commerce and lauded by the AFL-CIO as a strike for fair trade.

It would be triggered against countries such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan if the intermediate steps of negotiation and limited retaliation failed to remove the countries' large surpluses or unfair practices. It replaced a less severe provision in the bill that stopped short of mandatory 10% reductions.

Sponsor Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.) said, "The bottom line is pressure" in dealing with formidable trading partners.

Opponent Dan Rostenkowski (D-Ill.) called the amendment "too Draconian to be effective."

Members voting yes wanted presidents to be able to force 10% annual cuts in the American trade deficit with certain countries.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Dreier (R) x Rep. Martinez (D) x Rep. Moorhead (R) x Rep. Roybal (D) x Rep. Torres (D) x

GOP Substitute

The House rejected, 156 to 268, the Republican alternative to the Democrat-drafted trade bill (above). The GOP endorsed the thrust of the bill but sought to strip it of specifics such as the Gephardt amendment requiring mandatory retaliation, "Buy American" language, new disclosure requirements for foreign investors, provisions setting favorable exchange rates for the dollar and language creating new agencies to spur American competitiveness and ease the Third World debt repayment problem.

Members voting yes supported the GOP version of the sweeping trade bill.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Dreier (R) x Rep. Martinez (D) x Rep. Moorhead (R) x Rep. Roybal (D) x Rep. Torres (D) x

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