Missouri Rep. Richard A. Gephardt has wowed Iowa farmers by attacking Japan's unfair trade practices. Now it appears that Japan may have cause to strike back.
"Rice in Japan--a staple of their diet--costs seven times what it does in the United States, because they won't let any foreign rice in," Gephardt said at a Cedar Rapids rally last week. "It's not right; it's not just. It's not fair."
But Gephardt considers it fair in the United States, where he voted in 1981 and 1985 to retain an often-criticized quota program for a handful of American sugar producers.
The program, which the Reagan Administration has sought to repeal, keeps sugar prices high for U.S. producers by limiting import competition from foreign sources. Congressional sources say it has artificially boosted the producer price of sugar more than threefold, from 6 cents to about 20 cents a pound.