FREE TRADE DOESN'T STOP WITH GOODS
I agree wholeheartedly with the pre-mise of your article "Clinton's trade route" (Top of the News, July 26). Skeptics who feared that Clinton's election would result in a revision of our long-held American commitment to free trade have been pleasantly surprised.
One result of Clinton's outspoken commitment to an activist trade policy has been enhanced media coverage and public awareness of the possible benefits of reduced global tariffs, lower subsidies, and freer markets. Yet repeatedly, Americans concentrate solely on the consequences of free trade for the export and import of goods--agricultural commodities, manufactured merchandise, and raw materials. Continually ignored are the potential benefits for booming U.S. service industries, the fastest-growing field of American exports.
Indeed, the seemingly forgotten American service sector plays a vital role in the U.S. economy and its trade position. For 1992, service exports accounted for over one-quarter of the total. Even more startling, the U.S. services-trade surplus of $61 billion offset more than two-thirds of our nation's $96 billion merchandise-trade deficit. I recommend a continued, aggressive fight to free international trade for U.S. goods and services.
Chevy Chase, Md.