Press Releases

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

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) announced today that he secured $4.2 million in funding for the Mounted Warrior Nomad Command & Control Heads Up Display (C2HUD).  This critical technology will develop a wireless Helmet Mounted Display connectivity between mounted and dismounted crewmen necessary for dispersed operations for both combat vehicles and Stryker configurations. 

“This technology has a direct effect on the Stryker Brigade stationed at Fort Lewis,” said Smith. “Giving our fighting men and women the best and most advanced equipment in the world is critical to our success in combat operations. These funds will make significant improvements to what is currently available, including giving soldiers the ability to have full situational awareness and access to important data.”

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

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) announced today that the House Armed Services Committee has approved full funding for an additional 14 C-17 aircraft. The C-17 is the workhorse of the Air Force and is stationed at McChord Air Force Base in the Congressman’s district.

“The C-17 modernizes the U.S. Air Force airlift fleet with the world’s most versatile, reliable and capable airlift aircraft,” said Smith. “The C-17 has the unique abilities to excel in both the intercontinental strategic airlift mission and the intertheatre tactical airlift role.”

Smith also added language to the bill that would support the multi-year procurement of this vital U.S. Air Force aircraft.

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


Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) has announced today that he has secured $2.5 million for Advanced Interactive Systems, based in Tukwila, for a project on mapping that will be used by the National Guard and the Department of Homeland Security.

The funds will advance the mapping of cities, creating accurate virtual models of public spaces that will be used for simulated homeland security training. Smith led a letter from five Members of Washington’s delegation in supporting this vital Homeland Security project.

“I’m pleased that this program will allow our professionals to access this technology, which will enable them to conduct virtual exercises,” said Smith. “Ultimately, this technology will be available nationwide and will enable first responders the opportunity to train for how to effectively manage emergency scenarios before they happen.”

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