Has Tokyo Outfoxed Washington Again?
Regarding your article "Showdown time for U.S.-Japan trade?" (International Business, Apr. 24), I believe that the Japanese have done it again. In the GATT agreement recently negotiated by the U.S., we have agreed to abandon our more accessible patent system in favor of adopting the complicated patent system prevalent in Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, and elsewhere. Small, entrepreneurial entities will find themselves at a severe disadvantage in their efforts to compete with the large trading companies and foreign multinationals.
Regarding the trade imbalance: The U.S. trade imbalance with the Pacific Rim should be limited, collectively, to, say, $60 billion in any one year. This would include Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, and other nations. When the U.S. trade imbalance reaches the $60 billion level, there would be no further imports into the U.S. for the year from any of these countries.
To keep exports flowing to the U.S., Pacific Rim nations would have to import more from the U.S. so that the trade imbalance would not exceed $60 billion. This is the only way that we are going to force Japan to open its economy.
Anthony P. DeLio