The only way our economy can grow is through a viable and open world trading system. We depend on trade and must vigorously enforce trade rules. But we must also recognize that protectionist solutions to problems in one industry can ricochet and produce worse problems in other industries.
We need a new trade policy. It should have three major goals:
* To achieve our full export potential. The United States should be tough about maintaining its export markets and in opening new markets for U.S. goods. We should seek a commitment to the principle of "national treatment"--rules and standards to be applied to our exports equal to those applied to local products.
When our major industrial competitors close their markets to our exports, we should first negotiate. If that fails, we should use existing trade laws to restrict those countries' imports . . . .
* To manage import problems and vigorously enforce U.S. trade rights. Trade policy should be part of an industrial strategy designed to foster growth and to make U.S. industry internationally competitive. The president should have broad discretion to impose import curbs, when necessary, but these must be coupled with commitments to invest in new equipment and the retraining of workers.
This approach is preferable to enactment of permanent, statutory solutions such as local-content legislation.
* To strengthen and expand the international trading system. As a major export power and the architect of the post-World War II trading system, the United States has every reason to take the lead in expanding the international trading system.
U.S. policy should be to support international negotiations to reduce trade barriers, maintain U.S. leadership in the export of services and high technology and open new markets for agricultural goods.