Democrats fell flat in their attempt to make trade a major issue in the 1988 Presidential campaign. But the party's leaders seem determined to give it another try, even though the U. S. trade deficit has all but vanished. House Majority Leader Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.) is leading the charge. He announced on Sept. 10 that he will introduce legislation giving the President new weapons to retaliate against unfair trade practices--and less discretion in using the added powers. He also called for a broadside attack on Japanese trade practices before the General Agreement on Tariffs & Trade. On the same day, House Majority Whip David E. Bonior (D-Mich.) also chimed in, saying he hopes to make trade issues a top priority in what's left of this year's congressional session.

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