Trade: Feeling the Pinch in Shoes

As a self-proclaimed free trader, President Nixon is plainly on the spot. His campaign commitment to protect the U.S. textile industry earned him Southern votes, but it also encouraged other industries to clamor for new barriers to imports. The line-up of supplicants now includes such diverse groups as steelmen, strawberry growers, carpet weavers, piano makers, beekeepers, glass producers.

Next to textile men, no other group has flexed as much political muscle as shoe manufacturers. By last week 303 members of the House had petitioned President Nixon for "voluntary" import restrictions on shoes. On a similar petition in the Senate, Republican...

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