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Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-Fairport, formally introduced her proposal for free-trade ombudsmen at a recent Congressional hearing.

Speaking before the House Small Business Committee, the congresswoman outlined a proposal that would appoint ombudsmen in each state along the U.S.-Canada border to help resolve problems encountered by businesses seeking to capitalize on the 18-month-old U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement.

"There is no need to create another bureaucracy to deal with administrative and technical trade disputes," Mrs. Slaughter said. "The trade bureaucracy in Washington currently involves hundreds of employees and a number of federal departments and agencies. The ombudsman would coordinate these efforts, not duplicate them."

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