Lawmakers play 'let's make a deal'

November 17, 1993|By Knight-Ridder News Service

WASHINGTON -- Here's a quick look at some of the deals offered for votes for the North American Free Trade Agreement:

* The J.J. Pickle Trade Center in Texas, named for, who else, Rep. J.J. "Jake" Pickle, D-Texas. The price? $10 million.

* A bridge over railroad tracks in East Houston for Rep. Gene Green, D-Texas. The cost? $10 million.

* A promise of negotiations to speed the reduction of Mexican tariffs on home appliances exported to Mexico for lawmakers from the Iowa home of Amana, Maytag and General Electric.

* An agreement to require tough labeling rules so there would be no question who's buying a bottle of California wine, Tennessee whiskey or Kentucky bourbon, in an effort to woo California, Tennessee and Kentucky members of Congress.

* A requirement that manhole covers bear the clear imprint of the countries where they were made, to satisfy Sen. John B. Breaux, D-La., and lawmakers from 21 other states where "Made in the U.S.A." manhole covers are produced.

* A promise to let Florida farmers continue using methyl bromide, a soil fumigant that critics say depletes the Earth's ozone layer, to win votes from Florida lawmakers.

* A guest appearance by Vice President Al Gore at a fund-raiser designed to improve the solvency of Rep. Martin T. Meehan, D-Mass., who cashed in his life savings and retirement to run for office in 1992.

* Promises to negotiate with Canada to limit imports of durum wheat and peanut paste, to influence members of Congress from the upper Midwest and the South.

* Elimination of a 30-day warning of inspections of Mexican meatpacking plants, to influence lawmakers with meatpackers in their districts.

* A promise to spend $125 million to retrain those who lose their jobs because of NAFTA, to satisfy lawmakers worried about the impact of the deal on U.S. workers.

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