TRADE: Japan Agrees to Slice the Surplus

A promising accord on trade and quotas

The Japanese have long striven to export much and import little, a practice that reached its zenith last year in an awesome trade surplus of $15 billion. Since more than half that surplus was at the expense of the U.S., and since protectionist sentiment on Capitol Hill has swelled, the Administration has been pressing the Japanese to change their cherished habits, hard as that may be.

Last month Nobuhiko Ushiba, Japan's new Minister for External Economic Affairs, visited Washington with an armload of trade-equalization proposals. Nice try, said Robert Strauss, President Carter's Special Trade...

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