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Knowledge Helps

June 22, 1986

Professor Thurow's approach towards the reduction of the trade deficit ("Cascading Dollar Must Fall Further to Close Trade Gap," May 25) reminds one of the often-quoted way to make money in the stock market; i.e., buy low and sell high. Simple and straightforward advice, but hardly the kind of thing that one can use successfully in an investment program. The same could be said about his advice for reducing the trade deficit.

Nobody will disagree that reducing the value of the dollar will help exports. What is not indicated, when this kind of approach is suggested as a cure-all, is that many more things are required to be successful in the international arena.

We as a country must become aware that there are other people and other cultures beyond our national boundaries and (to succeed in trade) we must create products and services that satisfy their requirements.

We must recognize that other countries may have a different voltage and frequency for their electrical equipment; that they may use a different system of measurements (meters and kilograms) and that probably they speak languages other than English.

Our sales people must learn the idiosyncrasies of other cultures. Our manufacturers must make products which are well documented in the clients' languages.

Our government must also learn to expedite export licensing of high-tech equipment.

Our bankers and financial institutions must learn more about letters of credit, international finance and international credit ratings.

Solving the trade deficit is not a one-issue problem. Many things must be done to make this country competitive in international trade. You could start by soliciting exporter's viewpoints. They will have the merit of conforming to reality.



Export Managers Assn.

of California

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