The blather and hot air of the Richard Gephardt and Mel Levine article ("Reshaping Trade Policy," Oct. 15) was formidable, but their bottom-line points were right: America needs a foreign trade policy.
Rep. Gephardt was courageous enough to go out on a limb about trade policy when he was a presidential candidate, but few cared at that time.
Rep. Levine's new fervor is in contrast with his stance last year that cost America its biggest foreign trade debacle--the loss of the Saudi Arabian arms contract for military aircraft and other items. His jingoism for Israel cost America at least $30 billion in direct and indirect economic benefits.
It all went to Britain, thanks to Levine, Sens. (Alan) Cranston and (Pete) Wilson, and others who put Israel ahead of U.S. trade and foreign policy interests--certainly ahead of the Southern California aerospace industry and its laid-off workers.
For Mel Levine to emerge now as a champion of foreign trade is the height of hypocrisy and deceit. He is part of the problem.
PATRICK F. FLYNN