Press Releases

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash) is pleased with today’s announcement that the Boeing Co. has been awarded a $3.9 billion cost-plus-award-fee contract to develop the U.S. Navy’s Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA).

“I’m excited that the Boeing Company, in particular, the Boeing plant in Renton, will play a large role in the development and manufacturing of this new aircraft,” said Smith. “Our Navy has played an important role in the War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan and the MMA will replace our aging P-3 Orion fleet.  With the development of this aircraft in the Puget Sound region, this will be a boost to our local economy and bring much needed economic relief to the entire region. ”

The MMA offers a modern, highly reliable airframe which will be equipped with improved maritime surveillance and attack capability, allowing a smaller force to provide worldwide responsiveness while potentially on a smaller support infrastructure.  MMA will be a key component in the Navy’s Sea Power 21 Sea Shield concept by providing persistent anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare capabilities, supporting Sea Power 21’s Sea Strike doctrine through provisions of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities.  The platform will also play a key role in the Navy’s FORCEnet architecture via development of the common undersea picture.  These operational capabilities will be key factors in providing a sustained forward presence, sea domination, and distributed and networked intelligence.

Today, Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) announced that Katie Kuciemba will be his new scheduler and office manager in his Washington, D.C. office and Scott Heinze will be a new field representative in his district office in Tacoma, Washington.

Kuciemba joins Smith’s office after working at Quinn Gillespie & Associates where she was the executive assistant to Jack Quinn. Prior to her move to Washington, D.C., Kuciemba worked in the Office of Community Outreach for Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels. She has also served as the legislative assistant to Washington state Senator Jeri Costa. Katie, a native of Federal Way, is a graduate of the University of Washington.

Heinze joins Smith’s District office in Tacoma after recently working as the assistant director of outreach for Kent Youth & Family Services. Prior to this position, Heinze worked as a consultant and coordinator in the Parks & Recreation field and as the executive director of a non-profit organization.  He also has spent six years working as a park officer for the City of Spokane and as a police officer for the City of Tukwila.

Heinze will primarily focus on education, law and justice issues, the environment and health care. Heinze is a graduate of Eastern Washington University.

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) issued the following statement on the passing of President Ronald Reagan:

I am saddened to hear about the passing of President Ronald Reagan. He was a leader at a time when America needed someone who possessed firm determination and a commitment to liberty. He had a vision that engaged the world and led to the end of Soviet Communism and of lifting the iron curtain across Eastern Europe.

My deepest sympathies go to Nancy Reagan and the entire Reagan family. These last few years have been long and hard, but we will always remember the lasting and positive contributions Ronald Reagan left to the free world.

Today, Washington state Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) announced that he will vote for the U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement (USAFTA). 

“As a leader of the New Democrat Coalition in the House, I understand the importance of trade,” Smith said.  “A trade agreement with Australia will certainly help the U.S. economy, but particularly, it will be an economic boom to the Puget Sound region.  Washington state leads the nation in trade with Australia with more than $2.6 billion in exports. The agreement will have the greatest benefit for Washington’s manufacturer employees and ports.”

The free trade agreement will provide for a two-way trade in goods and services between both countries totaling $28 billion annually, while supporting approximately 12, 500 jobs in Washington state alone and more than 270,000 nationally.  The USAFTA would result in immediate duty-free treatment of 99% of U.S. exports of manufactured goods to Australia when the agreement goes into effect

“Expanded trade with Australia will have a significant impact on our region’s manufacturing employees, such as Boeing workers,” said Smith.  Nearly 95% of Qantas Airways’ operating fleet, Australia’s national carrier, is comprised of Boeing aircraft. Boeing projects a $20 billion market for its commercial airplanes and parts in Australia.

Because the Australian and U.S. economies are both modern and industrialized and are at similar levels of development, with similar average wage levels and environmental standards, labor and environment issues have not been a cause of bilateral trade friction.

“Australia’s labor and environmental standards are amongst the strongest in the world,” Smith noted.  “In that regard, it’s a very similar country to the U.S.”

Sixty days from now, President Bush must submit a preliminary list of U.S. laws that would have to be changed in order to comply with the agreement. After entering into the agreement, but within no specific time frame, the President then can submit a draft of the agreement, the implementing legislation, and statement of administrative action to both Houses of Congress. The Congress then has a total of 90 legislative days in which to act. Under trade promotion authority the amount of time for debate on the agreement in both Houses is limited and the vote is strictly a yes or no vote with no amendments.

“If we want to level the playing field and allow our companies and workers to compete in the global economy, we have to negotiate with other countries to get their tariffs and other trade barriers down,” said Smith. “I strongly believe that trade is critical to economic growth.  The United States must be a leader in the world and we need to be aggressively negotiating with the rest of the world.”

As a co-chair of the House New Democrat Coalition, Smith will be working to whip the Democratic vote for the trade agreement.

Rep. Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) announced today that he has secured $1 million for the National Defense University pilot program. This project has the basic premise that information technology is the keystone for military transformation and network centric warfare.

“As a Member of the House Armed Services committee, it is important that we understand the best way to utilize technology on the battlefield,” said Smith. “The funding of this program gives us information on new uses for information technology for new missions such as stabilization and reconstruction operations and homeland security.  Also, many of these new technologies that form the basis for transforming our military are vulnerable to disruption in various ways which could adversely affect US military capabilities. We have several projects designed to analyze this problem and to suggest possible solutions.”

As a leading proponent of technology, Smith sees the usefulness of this study. The projects will also focus on how we stay ahead of potential military competitors when it is the commercial sector that is driving most of the innovation in this area because competitors have access to the same commercial technology. The program is pursues several projects designed to allow the U.S. military to acquire more efficiently and more quickly new innovative technologies coming out of the commercial IT sector. Finally, the projects will show us the best way to share information technologies with our allies, who are playing an increasingly important role in combat operations.

Smith requested funding through the 2005 Defense Appropriations bill. It is expected that this bill will be finalized before Congress adjourns this year