Before calling Pat Choate "a classic Washington type, the policy hustler" {op-ed, Sept. 6}, Michael Kinsley should have looked in the mirror.

I've worked with Choate for more than 10 years and am assisting him on his book "Agents of Influence." Choate's Harvard Business Review article that drove Kinsley to his word processor is drawn from this book.

Kinsley pointed to Choate's criticism of the U.S. government decision to redefine Japan-exported light trucks as cars as an example of Choate's "dunderheadedness." While Kinsley did admit that this decision was an example of successful Japanese lobbying, there were a few things he didn't say: 1) the $500 million in lost federal revenue resulting from the lower tariff assessed on cars is, in effect, a subsidy that Americans will pay in either higher taxes or increased borrowing; 2) the subsidy doesn't even go to the American consumers who buy the trucks -- instead, it goes into the pockets of Japanese manufacturers who fail to pass along this saving in the form of lower prices; 3) although these trucks are called cars for purposes of import duties, they remain trucks for purposes of emission-regulation and safety -- this means they don't have to meet the more difficult standards imposed on cars. Kinsley accused Choate of "half-truths and exaggerations." Well, if the shoe fits...

Not content with debating Choate on the issues, Kinsley also attacked him personally, calling a consulting arrangement with his former employer, TRW, a "golden parachute." Well, Kinsley should get his facts straight. Choate doesn't have any consulting arrangement with TRW, and he has not received any severance pay for his 10 years with the company. The time he spent working on his book he took as unpaid leave.

Choate spent three years researching and writing his book. It is derived from interviews, examination of documents and his own experience in working with many of the key players in government and international business. Kinsley is a glib writer with lots of opinions, but before he turns his attention to trade and economics, I suggest he devote a little more time than the few minutes he took to move his opinions into print. -- Steven Hofman