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Trade Deficit, GATT Passage

November 27, 1994

Re "Trade Deficit Grows, Dealing Setback to GATT," Nov. 19:

The opponents of GATT would have us believe that the solution to our large trade deficit and the loss of manufacturing jobs to other countries is to block changes in existing world trade policy. The only logical interpretation of their arguments is that they really want jobs to move overseas and really want the United States to maintain a large trade deficit. While GATT does have problems, it will have a much smaller impact on U.S. imports than on U.S. exports, since most U.S. tariffs are already low.

KEITH PRICE

Los Angeles

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Last month's $10 billion trade deficit brings to our attention once again the disastrous course being followed by the U.S. in allowing this condition to continue year after year.

Obviously our trading partners do not want to buy as much from us as they sell to us. The Japanese, for example, have stonewalled every attempt that we have made to even out our trade with them. To whose advantage is this? Last month we bought $10 billion worth more than we sold. How do we pay for this difference? There is only one way. We pay with stock, bonds, real estate, factories. The time will come when they will live on the dividends from American companies, from rent on the homes we live in, from interest on what we owe them. We will pay them rent to live in our own country. Free trade is great. But it must be fair trade as well. Fair trade is--you buy as much from me as I buy from you, and if it's not fair trade we are better off without it.

SIDNEY ROCHLIN

Los Angeles

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The Clinton Administration has a new treaty, essentially to put Americans out of work. This treaty is to lower taxes on all imports.

It is very nice, and quite convenient for consumers, but what about the hard-working U.S. citizens who make American products? There will be a loss of jobs. We Americans work hard for our money. If this treaty passes, the people of America will buy more foreign products. And that's definitely not what we need. Foreign may be cheaper, but American products are built better and last longer.

Think about it!

CARRIE WHITE

Burbank

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Make no mistake: As a Libertarian, I support free trade as a win-win for us and our trading partners. And GATT sounds like the way to go. But the devil, as they say, is in the details.

Consider: GATT is more than 20,000 pages long; the implementing legislation that Congress is, in theory, considering, more than 4,000. We need a deliberate and thoughtful debate on this treaty. We can't get that in a hurry-up, lame-duck legislative session. There won't even be time for congressional staff wonks to read this legislation, let alone our elected representatives. GATT real!

MARC BEAUCHAMP

Palm Desert

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