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L.A. Officials' Overseas Travel

April 04, 1993

I appreciate this chance to correct the myths created about my efforts to bolster trade and tourism for Los Angeles.

First, my foreign trade and tourism missions are not paid for with taxpayer dollars. Not a single cent has been diverted from basic city services such as fire and police protection. The missions are funded by revenues generated by the Departments of Airports and Harbors--funds that by federal and state law cannot be used for police and fire protection. Indeed, the airport and harbor are able to generate these revenues because they are such successful businesses, and their success is directly related to our promotion of Los Angeles abroad.

Second, my foreign trade and tourism missions have paid off in a big way for the Los Angeles economy. Hundreds of thousands of jobs have been created. And the foundation of our economic success has been foreign trade and tourism. Yet, the last few years have been very tough on the local economy. That is why it is now more important than ever to increase our foreign trade and persuade tourists to visit our city.

Here is just one example of the kind of results we have produced: After 10 years of work, I am about to conclude an agreement at the highest levels of the Japanese government to construct a 120-acre dry bulk export facility at our harbor. The facility will create 5,900 local jobs, $549 million in business revenue, and $22 million in city taxes.

Third, I have a fundamental obligation to promote the city that we live in and care about. Los Angeles has receive a lot of bad publicity recently. But, as usual, the pundits never focus on the positive.

It goes without saying, of course, that my first priority as mayor is to deal with the potential aftermath of the ongoing federal civil-rights trial, and my schedule for the remainder of my term will be determined by the outcome of that trial. In the meantime, though, I will do everything within my power to create jobs and grow our economy.



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