Imports: Free Trade's Narrow Victory

Free Trade's Narrow Victory

It was a crucial test of President Reagan's ability to withstand the forces of protectionism. Opponents of the White House's free-trade philosophy had mounted a move in the House of Representatives to override Reagan's veto of a bill to curb imports of textiles and shoes. But when the debate ended last week, the bill's backers fell eight votes short of the two-thirds majority necessary for an override. The final tally: 276 in favor of the proposal, 149 opposed.

The vote angered the affected industries. Says Roger Milliken, who heads the New York-based Milliken textile firm: "We were up against a doctrinaire...

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