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Mickey Kantor

* The Times (Nov. 21) quoted U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor, “It would have been biting off too much to seek concessions from Japan. . . . That would not have been appropriate or smart.” Having read both news reports of the continuing trade deficit for the past 15 years or so and the reports of various negotiators’ feeble attempts to pry open Japanese markets, this statement sounds like a complete capitulation.

With the trade deficit increasing again, American labor and business should be concerned about the Administration’s stance on this issue because the continuing trade deficit is creating a climate of lowered incentive to make the kind of long-term investments that will provide reasonably paid jobs. Kantor gives a reason--the U.S. should behave in an accommodating manner to the new Japanese prime minister--but I find this preposterous. Why should government policy be linked to the fate of individual foreign politicians? The U.S. should adopt more aggressive policies with respect to this problem instead of capitulating.

PETER J. VAUGHAN

Riverside

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