Gov. George Deukmejian told the trade ministers of key U.S. allies Friday that he opposes the imposition of trade sanctions on foreign nations, calling instead for negotiations to open markets to American products.
"We don't want an America that is closed to the world. We want a world that is open to America," Deukmejian said at a meeting of the trade ministers of Japan, Canada and the European Economic Community and the trade ambassador of the United States.
Creating trade barriers for other nations would throw American workers out of jobs and raise prices for consumers, Deukmejian said, not increase U.S. exports.
Deukmejian's stand echoed the position of President Reagan at a time when members of Congress, including some Republicans, are calling for trade quotas and other sanctions on Japan, the European Common Market and other trading partners.
"Today, we hear the steady drumbeat of protectionism," Deukmejian said. "International trade barely grew last year, and one major reason is the growth of non-tariff barriers, quotas, subsidies and other roadblocks to free commerce. These actions risk the disintegration of the global trading system."
Deukmejian, who is making his support for business one of the key elements in his campaign for reelection this year, also took the opportunity to promote California products with the trade leaders.
In his speech at the Hotel del Coronado, the Republican governor called for expanded exports in American service industries, such as high-speed communications, banking, insurance, health care and transportation.
He also called on foreign nations to better protect American companies, particularly high-technology businesses, from the counterfeiting of their products in violation of patent and copyright agreements.
The state, Deukmejian noted, is helping potential exporters obtain loans and has launched a campaign to advertise California farm products abroad. He said $7 million a year is being spent to promote California trade.