In his letter of Sept. 25 Robert E. Scott erroneously states that according to my calculations the average consumer cost of proposed new textile protection would be $1.72 billion per year in the first five years, or $20 per family. The correct figure from my book is: an average increased consumer cost of apparel of $9.3 billion annually from 1991 to 1995 or more than $100 per family per year.
The costs rise rapidly over time, reaching $18 billion yearly by 1995 and $48 billion annually by the year 2000, or more than $500 per family by the latter date (at constant 1989 prices). If this protection is added to prospective costs from existing protection, total consumer costs rise from $22 billion annually today ($250 per family) to $48 billion annually in 1995 and $85 billion annually in the year 2000 (almost $1,000 per family). The overall tone of Prof. Scott's letter thus seriously understates consumer costs of textile protection, existing and proposed.
Moreover, as Prof. Scott notes in his letter, the textile (as opposed to apparel) industry has become much more competitive through mechanization, so it does not need additional protection. Prof. Scott says the advocates of protection seek to save jobs. But the consumer cost per textile job saved will amount to as much as $190,000. The resulting sticker shock will cut general consumption and destroy jobs in other sectors, with a likely net loss in jobs. WILLIAM R. CLINE Senior Fellow Institute for International Economics Washington