Volume, XXV, No. 1
January, 1986

How National and International
Issues Affect Arizonans

There is a delicate balance that needs to be struck between local, national and international concerns when you are a Member of Congress. Many representatives come to Washington with a set agenda of local issues, not always realizing how national and international issues can have an impact on these smaller measures. A quick look at the first session of the 99th Congress illustrates how intertwined many of these subjects are.
 
 

* COPPER *

Copper is an issue that is international, national and local in scope for Arizonans. Over the years the domestic copper industry has been a significant employer and economic force in the Grand Canyon State. But copper is more than just an Arizona employer. The domestic industry employs more than 120,000 people in the U.S. in jobs ranging from smelting and mining to copper fabricating. And it's not just the West that employs these copper workers -- many fabricating jobs are in the Midwest and East. And copper has a dramatic impact on international markets as well -- Chile, Peru, Mexico, Zaire, Zambia, Canada and others all depend on the copper industry as a local employer and exporter for much-needed revenue. Unfortunately, the success of the international copper industry has resulted in the downfall of the Arizona and U.S. copper industry. The bottom line? U.S. and Arizona copper workers are losing their jobs in record numbers.

It is an economic fact of life that industries come and industries go. So why be concerned about the copper industry? Why not let foreign producers simply capture the market? If this were a fair fight, I would be more supportive of this

notion. However, the facts are that most of the countries exporting copper heavily subsidize their copper industry, resulting in an unfair price advantage on the world market. Couple this with the stringent environmental controls on domestically produced copper and you have given foreign copper an almost insurmountable advantage over domestically produced copper.

But more than economics are at stake when you are talking about the problems of the domestic copper industry. Under the terms of the Strategic and Critical Materials Stockpiling Act of 1979, copper is identified as a strategic and critical material. By law, the United States is to have a stockpile of copper sufficient to meet our needs for a three year period. Presently, we have fulfilled only five percent of that target. If the downturn in the domestic industry continues at its present pace we may end up filling our strategic stockpile with imported copper -- or not at all.

The copper issue has been on a roller coaster during the past few years. In late 1984, the International Trade Commission found that the domestic copper industry had been substantially injured and relief was needed. In fact, the only thing the commission disagreed on was what kind of relief


 

CONGRESSMAN UDALL REPORTS
PAGE 2

to provide; a tariff on imported copper or copper quotas. We hoped that the President would concur with the findings of the commission, but he rejected their recommendations.

In response to that rejection Congress asked the President to enter into negotiations with foreign copper producers asking for voluntary limits on their production. The President set up an Interagency Task Force to study the idea. After several months of investigation the task force concluded that government-owned producers overseas were, in fact, producing too much.

But in October of 1985, President Reagan notified Congress that he would not seek to negotiate voluntary production restraint agreements on foreign copper despite the findings of his own task force. The President's decision, if read by a lawyer, would state, "Whereas the domestic copper industry has been damaged by unfair foreign competition, and whereas, the domestic copper industry is due some reasonable form of trade relief, now therefore, the Reagan Administration will provide no help to the domestic copper industry." In other words, as an old law school professor of mine said, "your whereas's don't match your now therefore's".

However, the fight for the copper industry is not over. Recently, the Senate, as part of the Textile bill, approved a measure endorsed by the House-Senate Copper Caucus that directs the President to negotiate with the key copper producing nations to limit their production for five years in an effort to allow the U.S. industry an opportunity to get back on its feet. The Senate amendment was approved by the House last year, but was vetoed by President Reagan. Chances for a veto override are uncertain.

* CAP *

This past year we also saw the first flow of water down the canals of the Central Arizona Project, bringing to fruition a goal that is both national and local in nature. Over the years we have been fortunate to have the support of a number of national figures who have helped us to keep the

CAP on the road to completion. Western water projects have helped to develop not only Arizona, but the entire Southwest region. And while I'm pleased that the first water has come down the canal toward Phoenix, there is still a lot of work to be done.

There have been times over the years when the future of the CAP seemed in doubt so the first flow of water was a true joy for the people who have worked so long and hard on the project. The water being delivered to the Valley of the Sun will allow future growth to continue and assure that agriculture will remain a vital economic force in Arizona.

In the early part of the next decade CAP water will finally flow into Tucson. The importance of seeing this portion of the CAP completed cannot be emphasized enough. Tucson is the largest city in the world with no above ground water source. And while Tucsonans are to be complimented for their conservation efforts, the southern Arizona water table cannot last forever, so the CAP is vitally important to maintaining the quality of life we have come to expect in Tucson.

* CAMPAIGN REFORM *

Having trudged through the snows of New Hampshire two years before a presidential election, I feel I'm qualified to discuss campaign reform. And this is an issue that matters to both Arizona and the nation.

First, the good news; there was some movement on the campaign reform front -- the bad news; not enough movement.

In early 1985 I introduced legislation (H.R. 1380) that would limit the delegate selection process to a three month period from the second Tuesday in March to the second Tuesday in June of an election year. As expected, the opposition to this measure was stiff, especially from New Hampshire and Iowa which now select their delegates before the mandated primary dates as established by the Democratic and Republican National Committees.


 

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CONGRESSMAN UDALL REPORTS

The reason behind the Presidential Primary Reform bill is simple. While the folks of Iowa and New Hampshire are good people, I don't think that they should have the sole responsibility for selecting our presidents. These two states are not representative of the nation as a whole. To illustrate this fact, there are more Democrats in the second congressional district of Arizona than there are in the entire state of New Hampshire. To many of us involved in trying to change the primary process, it makes sense to allow some other states to have a crack at these all-important early primaries.

That was the decision the Commission on National Elections, a bipartisan group of political, civic and business leaders, endorsed in November. The Commission is pushing for an early primary date that would include possibly New Hampshire and Iowa, but also a western state, a southern state and maybe a couple of other states around the country. This would provide for a more representative cross-section of the country -- and thus, a better reading of whom the American people really want for President.

The Commission on National Elections also endorsed the concept of a bipartisan commission to consider the issue of financing of congressional campaigns and to support appropriate reforms. The cost of running for Congress has clearly gotten out of hand. Senator Warren Rudman (R-N.H.) and I have introduced a bill (H.R. 1284) to create such a commission (at least one person from New Hampshire doesn't think all of my ideas are bad).

Some of the other ideas endorsed by the commission:

* Simultaneous poll closings across the nation. This could have a positive effect on voter turnout in western states.

* The continuation of public financing of presidential elections, the major reform of the 1970s. Also endorsed is the $1 income tax checkoff as a public financing mechanism.

Believe it or not, we are closing in on the actual beginning of the 1988 presidential cycle. Consequently, any movement on the campaign reform front will have to come soon. Nationwide voter turnout is on the down swing, due in large part to the "boredom factor" built into the system by election cycles that are too long. For the good of the country, this needs to be changed.

* U.S.-SOVIET STUDENT EXCHANGES *

One of the most gratifying international developments for me this past year came as a result of the Geneva summit. While the results from Geneva were not dramatic, the summit between Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan may prove to be beneficial in the reestablishment of U.S.-Soviet ties that were so badly damaged in the latter part of the 1970s and early 1980s. President Reagan has come full circle since his "evil empire" days and appears willing to sit down and talk with the Soviets on issues of importance to both countries. The administration seems ready to accept the fact that regular communication will help solve the delicate problems of international diplomacy.

I was particularly pleased that the concept of U.S.-Soviet student exchanges was endorsed. Nearly five years ago, I introduced a bill, the U.S.-Soviet Student Exchange for Peace, that would send 2,000 young people to the Soviet Union and for our part, we would host 2,000 youths for a one year period. To many, this may seem like a minor matter. But as a starting point in improving U.S.-Soviet relations, there is no better vehicle than widespread exchange programs between our two countries. It is imperative that both superpowers begin to look at the "other" country as a collection of human beings with the same wants and concerns as themselves -- instead of just seeing shadowy figures hiding behind nuclear missiles.

The President's endorsement and recognition of the value of U.S.-Soviet exchanges can provide added impetus to the drive to reestablish person-to-person exchanges. The Exchange for Peace (H.J. Res. 336) currently has 150 cosponsors in the House and has been introduced by Senator Paul


 

CONGRESSMAN UDALL REPORTS
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Simon in the Senate. During the second session of the 99th Congress, there is a strong possibility that the bill will move forward. For the first time in quite awhile, it appears that we are on the right road in our dealings with the Soviet Union.

* TAX REFORM *

After months of hearings and work on the President's tax reform bill, the House of Representatives voted by voice vote on December 17, 1985, to approve H.R. 3838, the Tax Reform Act of 1985. The bill now goes to the Senate for further consideration.

I want to thank my constituents for their valuable contribution to the tax reform debate -- I received thousands of cards and letters on this issue. The bill, as it passed the House, was a major legislative accomplishment. By closing various tax loopholes, the bill makes possible cuts in tax rates for everyone, businesses and individuals alike. It also removes six million low-income Americans from the tax rolls, while putting many big corporations (that have escaped paying taxes in recent years) back on the tax rolls. Meanwhile, the vast majority of individual taxpayers will end up paying less in taxes.

It is not a perfect bill. As I see it, there are still several flaws in it. But to the extent that there are problems, I think they can be resolved in the Senate or in the House-Senate conference com-

mittee that will follow the likely passage of the tax reform bill.

* ARIZONA *

In each legislative cycle there are a great many small measures that don't have the major impact of the above mentioned issues, but still are of great importance to the folks in communities around the country. Some examples of legislation that passed the 99th Congress and affects the 2nd congressional district:

* As part of the Military Construction bill, approved the Tucson Land Exchange amendment, which will make possible the transfer of 61 acres of land from Davis Monthan Air Force Base to the city of Tucson. The parcel of land will be used as a public park and refuse transfer station.

* The renaming of the U.S. Courthouse in Tucson in honor of retiring Judge James A. Walsh. Tucson's resident District Judge from 1952-1961, Judge Walsh has had a great influence on the lives of Arizonans. He's a fine man, who deserves to be recognized.

There are other issues, of course, that we have spent time on this year. And there are a great many projects to work on during the second session of the 99th Congress. Your comments and suggestions are vitally important. Please feel free to contact my Phoenix, Tucson or Washington offices and let me know how I can serve you better.


Previous Report: November, 1985 -- The Trade Deficit -- Cause for Alarm?


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