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[greenyes] U.S. Trade Policy

copy of my letter to the US Trade Office:

Ambassador Robert B. Zoellick

U.S. Trade Representative

600 17th Street, N.W.

Washington, DC 20508

Dear Ambassador Zoellick:

I would like, if I may, to ask you a question concerning basic trade
principles, in light of the U.S. position with regard to our Airbus dispute
with the European Community.

If I understand our position in that case correctly, we argue that free
trade under WTO rules is not whatever laissez-faire decrees, but rather "is
about fair competition and a level playing field," as you were quoted in the
October 7, 2004 Wall Street Journal ("U.S., Europe Sue Each Other at WTO
Over Aircraft Subsidies"). In that regard, it seems to be our claim that
Airbus enjoys excessively large tax subsidies, creating an unlevel playing
field on which Boeing cannot fairly compete. We, therefore, have petitioned
to have WTO rule that the tax subsidies are an unfair trade practice,
subject to penalties.

I mention all this not because I have any objection to that posture.
However, it leads me to ask whether or not the exact same principles would
apply with equal force to pollution regulations.

That is to say, if a trading partner permits excessively large releases of
pollutants by its manufacturers, in substantial departure from the
international norm, the relative effect on international competitiveness is
the same. An unlevel playing field is created because manufacturers in that
country will have a lower cost of producing product - which is the
functional equivalent to the bottom line of enjoying lower taxes or
receiving cash grants.

Moreover, there would seem to be an even stronger grounds for our concern,
along with other neighboring countries, because, in many instances,
pollution acknowledges no international boundaries and its costs are borne
directly by those other countries in the form of higher health bills and
other related environmental costs.

My question to you is whether the U.S. trade position includes along with
opposition to undue tax subsidies, improper environmental subsidies by our
trading partners.


Peter Anderson

Peter Anderson, President
4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
Madison, WI 53705-4964
Ph: (608) 231-1100
Fax: (608) 233-0011
Cell: (608) 698-1314
eMail: anderson@no.address

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