FOREIGN TRADE: Whiskers for St. Nick

Into Washington last week trooped the first trade commission ever to come to the U.S. from Tibet. The five members of the commission wore eye-catching yellow brocade kimonos (over regular summer-weight suits) as they sat down to discuss their business with the Department of Commerce.

The dollar shortage, they said, had penetrated even into their forbidden city of Lhasa, which badly needs plows and sickles. To get them, Tibet wants to send the U.S. a list of oddities (e.g., lapis lazuli, musk, leopard skins) topped by 100,000 yak* tails. It happens that the U.S. is now suffering from a war-born shortage...

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