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Trading With the Soviets

November 13, 1988

I am writing in response to "U.S., Allies May Clash Over Large Soviet Bank Credits" (Part I, Oct. 31). The article states that some U.S. officials fear that the extension of $10 billion in credit to the Soviet Union will endanger national security. I believe these fears are misguided.

It is foolish to assume that we can forever isolate the Soviets from the world economy. In fact, the United States could easily use investment in and trade with the Soviet Union to improve our foreign trade balance. As was obvious to me during the two months I spent in the Soviet Union, the U.S. economy is vastly superior to the Soviet economy in both productivity and quality of production. In any trade between the two countries, the terms of trade are bound to favor the United States.

The failure of the U.S. government to allow U.S. firms to bid on contracts for a pipeline now being constructed in the Soviet Union potentially cost these firms tens of millions of dollars. The U.S. government should refuse to repeat this mistake and recognize the opportunities afforded by the opening of one of the world's largest economies.

MAURY SHENK

Los Angeles

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