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Trading With the Soviets

November 13, 1988

Sen. Steve Symms (R-Ida.) only sees "undisciplined, gratuitous underwriting of Soviet global operations" when our allies provide new bank credits that will help Mikhail Gorbachev begin satisfying consumer demands. What Symms fails to see is that satisfying Soviet consumer demand is in the interest of U.S. national security.

Our national security will be imperiled if Gorbachev fails in his effort to restructure Soviet society. A failure would give Soviet hard-liners the chance to take control, returning to a repressive regime. Our fear of such a regime would put us back into an arms race where everyone loses.

Helping Gorbachev satisfy consumer demands is insurance that perestroika will work, which in turn is insurance that the entire world will become a world that works for everyone. Our greatest threat is our own fear; President Reagan and Gorbachev began the process of cautious cooperation. Let us continue on that path; it is the path to world survival.

DUANE ERWAY

South Pasadena

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