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U.S.-Japan Trade Problems

April 26, 1987

Bob Samuelson's article "Time Out in the Chip War," (Editorial Pages, April 8) was quite interesting. He said that the chip war could turn into "reciprocal ugliness . . . that "Japan was forced to sign a bad agreement," and that "our Japan-bashing may become their America-bashing."

Samuelson is talking about a 100% tariff on $300 million worth of electronic imports from Japan.

We concerned Americans all agree that Japan has it tough--being stuck with a $59-billion trade surplus with America and their supporter, Samuelson, knowing that this $300 million is approximately one-half of 1% of the trade surplus, is still concerned--that's true dedication. Too bad America didn't hire him.

Now let's go back a few years to 1774-1776, after the party in Boston Harbor, when England was becoming overbearing in its treatment of the Colonists, and the talk was of independence. Pat Henry was there, along with Ben Harrison, Ben Franklin, John and Sam Adams, Tom Jefferson and the rest of the "good old boys." And in walked a man named Bob Samuelson, saying "maybe we shouldn't rush into this--it might not be fair to England, sure, they want to get paid for the tea, and sure, they blockaded the harbor so we can't get needed supplies into Boston, and yes, the people are getting very hungry, but let's not ruffle England's feathers. . . ."

It's just possible, considering the attitude and strength of purpose of those "good old boys" during those stressful days, that someone would have taken Samuelson out to the harbor entrance and told him to "swim in an easterly direction."

WES HAWORTH

Thousand Oaks

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