Tough Trading

The Clinton Administration moves decisively against protectionism

ON THE HIGH SEAS OF TRANSATLANTIC COMMERCE, it was the equivalent of a shot across the bow. U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor threatened to stop the purchase of telecommunications, transportation and power equipment manufactured in the European Community, thus signaling that the Clinton Administration means business about dismantling protectionist trade barriers. The stern new measure is aimed at the E.C.'s "buy Europe" policy, which allows government agencies to award lucrative contracts to other E.C. members even when underbid by foreign firms. Unless a compromise is reached before March 22, $45 million in annual purchases will be terminated. Kantor's motivation was in...

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