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Washington Insight

September 20, 1993|PAUL HOUSTON and RONALD J. OSTROW

NAFTA SPLIT: California's two senators and 52 House members are typically fractured over the North American Free Trade Agreement. . . . Sen. Barbara Boxer staunchly opposes it, and an aide says Sen. Dianne Feinstein has "grave concerns." Both Democrats worry about California losing jobs to Mexico--and about the state suffering more air and water pollution on the border. "The NAFTA side agreements do not provide sufficient protection," Boxer asserts. ... There's limited California support for NAFTA in the House, where its leading champion, Rep. Robert T. Matsui (D-Sacramento), figures that about a dozen of the state's 30 Democrats eventually will vote for it. But for now, he counts only himself and Reps. Anthony C. Beilenson (D-Woodland Hills), Vic Fazio (D-West Sacramento) and Calvin Dooley (D-Visalia) as pro-NAFTA. Among California Republicans, about 17 are for the trade pact and 5 against, a House leader estimates. . . . Matsui has a well-placed, and familiar, ally in the NAFTA campaign. His wife, Doris O. Matsui, is White House deputy director of public liaison in charge of rallying grass-roots support for the accord.

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