Bentsen, Browner, Rep. Torres Announce NAD Bank, Border Environment Commission
Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen and Rep. Esteban Torres (D-CA)
yesterday announced the formation with Mexico of the North American
Development Bank. The President, Bentsen stated, "knows that with the
environmental side agreement and the new North American Development Bank to
help finance environmental cleanup and community adjustment, NAFTA is an
example of leadership in protecting our environment." Torres also endorsed
NAFTA, and said that these improvements under NAFTA could bring additional
House votes. Torres, a former UAW official and a leading member of the
Congressional Hispanic Caucus, was joined in endorsing NAFTA by La Raza, the
Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the Southwest Voter
Later in San Francisco, EPA Administrator Carol Browner announced the
formation of the Border Environmental Cooperation Commission with Mexico which
"will serve as the hub for coordinating border financing from a variety of
sources, and will assist communities in project development," Browner said.
"The BECC and the NADBank will work in partnership with border communities to
solve environmental problems long ignored," Browner concluded, "and to make
environmental protection at the border a reality."
Administration Sends Financing Proposal To Congress
The Administration late Tuesday sent a bipartisan proposal that avoids
a tax increase to offset the revenues lost by the tariff cuts under NAFTA to
Congress, as required by pay-as-you-go rules. Offsets would come from savings
in CCC outlays due to NAFTA, the implementation of an electronic federal tax
deposit system, improved Customs collections, and a $1.50 increase in the
Customs processing fee for international travelers.
Labor Secretary Reich Warns Against Defeat Of NAFTA
Labor Secretary Robert Reich told the annual conference of the
National Alliance of Business on Monday that a defeat of NAFTA could play into
the hands of our economic competitors. "If we fail to take advantage of the
mushrooming markets in Mexico then you can bet other nations will," Reich told
the group. "They say that nature abhors a vacuum. Well you'll hear a giant
sucking sound if we don't pass NAFTA -- and it will be the sound of Japan and
Germany rushing in to take advantage of an opportunity that we passed up."
Arizona, Tennessee, Texas Leaders Attend NAFTA Leadership Day
* Business and community leaders from Arizona, Tennessee and Texas
yesterday attended another in a series of "leadership days" to discuss the
benefits of NAFTA for American jobs with the Clinton Administration. CEA
Chair Laura Tyson, Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, Transportation Secretary
Federico Pena and NAFTA Coordinator Bill Daley joined the Vice President in
the Administration's continuing dialogue on NAFTA.