When the House and the Senate recently voted out the new 1987 Trade and International Economic Policy Reform Act, a measure specifically intended to prop up America's stance in the international trade arena, they used it as an opportunity to overrule the administration's increasingly successful policy toward Romania.

The trade act's suspension of Romania's most-favored-nation status was advocated in a Post op-ed piece by Jeri Laber {"Time to Rein In Romania's Tyrant," June 8}. Jeri Laber's perspective on this country's policy toward Romania is one-dimensional. Speaking for the Helsinki Watch, her single consideration was Romania's current domestic policy, specifically economic austerity and the continuing limitations on religious and ethnic rights, with particular emphasis on the country's Hungarian minority of 2 million.

Jeri Laber ignored the most recent testimony of a multireligious Romanian delegation to the United States regarding increasing freedom of religion, as well as the report of Rev. Ernest Gordon, a leading American religious leader, that no people are jailed in Romania for their religious beliefs. The complaints of Romania's Hungarian minority, many of whom would rather secede from Romania, are equally subject to debate. It is best that we leave this thorny problem to be mutually resolved by the two members of the Warsaw Pact, Romania and Hungary, rather than inject ourselves into this communist Pandora's box.

While Jeri Laber bemoaned Romania's economic hardships and short-ages, she acknowledged that they are due in great part to the decision to use the country's resources to pay off its huge international debt. Should we take Romania to task for seeking to repay its foreign debt by 1990? Romania has achieved an enviable status among world financial institutions for its commitment to its obligations. Should we, in light of our own worsening balance-of-trade situation, impose our more lackadaisical financial attitude on Romania?

At a time when the United States has some unique opportunities to foster independent thinking and new economic policies within the Soviet camp, we must base our foreign policy toward the Eastern bloc on a wide range of considerations -- international as well as domestic, political as well as economic and religious. U.S. policy toward these Soviet dependencies requires uniquely creative, flexible and long-term perspectives. Our best bet continues to be a policy of helping each willing Eastern bloc country to be brought slowly into world trade markets and into broader cultural and social exchanges with the West. By welcoming Romania back into the free-world camp, we can be most effective in undercutting the Soviet dominance over the captive nations of Eastern and Central Europe. NICHOLAS N. KITTRIE Professor of Law, Washington College of Law, The American University Washington