January 21, 1994
President Clinton's special trade representative, Mickey Kantor, continues to be the most effective operator on the administration's foreign policy team. After muscling the North American Free Trade Agreement to passage in Congress and pushing through to a new 116-nation General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, he has forced China to accept tighter textile quotas and Japan to open up its lucrative public works market.The China accord, which penalizes Beijing for "massive fraud" in sending illegally mislabeled garments into the U.S. market, is a major plus for Sino-American relations.
February 21, 1994
President Clinton's personal intervention to bring off the $6 billion deal to sell Boeing and McDonnell Douglas commercial airliners to Saudi Arabia underscores his administration's commitment to what Commerce Secretary Ron Brown calls "a real economic partnership between government and business."By using government leverage to the utmost, the president enabled these troubled American aerospace contractors to beat out bids from their heavily subsidized European rival, Airbus Industrie. Not only did he put U.S. Import-Export Bank guarantees on the line; he exploited Saudi Arabia's military dependence on the United States.
March 20, 1992
Easter may come and go without a new world trade agreement unless a meeting this weekend between President Bush and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl breaks the impasse. Even if a pact miraculously appears, it is doubtful Mr. Bush will take the political risk of trying to get it ratified by an election-year Congress. For several years now, the great industrial nations have lacked the will and the vision to break clear of parochial politics.That a new General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade would serve their economic interests is beyond dispute.
January 8, 1993
President-elect Clinton's selection of his campaign manager,Mickey Kantor, for the hot-seat job of U.S. trade representative reflects the internal infighting of a divided party and Cabinet. Mr. Kantor is a respected lawyer-negotiator, certainly a solid qualification for a job that demands multi-dimensional bargaining with domestic interest groups and foreign powers. But what secured him the Cabinet-level post was his utter lack of background on trade issues. He will start with a clean slate, no ideological baggage and his close friendship with Bill and Hillary Clinton.
September 30, 1994
Sen. Ernest F. (Fritz) Hollings bided his time, let the Clinton administration dither away precious weeks on the legislative calendar, then launched a delaying attack on the pending global trading bill this week just as his colleagues were chafing to go home for elections. It is not that the White House was not forewarned. Mr. Hollings is not only a senator from South Carolina but the senator from the textile industry, a protectionist dedicated to the preservation of low-cost jobs even if high-paying export jobs have to be sacrificed in the process.
November 14, 1990
Due to a breakdown in leadership by the very nations that have the most to gain from an expanding world trading system, prospects for a landmark global agreement four years in the making are at the breaking point. Unless the United States, the European Community and Japan mend their destructive ways, talks on reforming the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade could end in failure, delay or minimal adjustments.The deadline is a long-scheduled ministerial meeting Dec. 3 to 7 in Brussels, which gives President Bush and his counterparts just three weeks to end a deadlock that has many grain-exporting countries and Third World nations threatening for good reason to take a walk.
November 14, 1991
Can two negatives make a positive? Perhaps, in the arcane world of trade negotiations, where governments bargain in a cloud of ambiguity that shrouds their intentions from one another and from heavy-breathing interest groups back home.President Bush went to The Hague last weekend to determine if talks with European Community president Jacques Delors could break the trans-Atlantic logjam over agricultural subsidies that has stalled the crucially important Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.
February 7, 2008
Orioles ace Erik Bedard had not traveled to Seattle by late yesterday afternoon, a baseball source told The Sun, meaning any announcement involving the left-hander's pending trade to the Mariners is still on hold. Orioles president Andy MacPhail reiterated last night that there was no news to report. He would not say what the holdup might be. Since Bedard is still the property of the Orioles, it's their responsibility to give him the go-ahead to fly to Seattle. MacPhail would not say whether that has been done.
July 23, 1991
If world trade talks are to succeed this year where they failed last year, there may have to be a special Group of Seven economic summit to knock heads together and force negotiators to closure. This was proclaimed at the London summit last week. It is an excellent idea, and it would have made big news if Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev were not on the premises rattling his tin cup.What the leaders of the world's richest industrial democracies were facing on the trade issue was nothing less than a crisis in credibility.
March 7, 2004
PUT DOWN those blue pencils and slowly step away, the Treasury Department has told U.S. editors and publishers. Don't change that paragraph, that comma - unless it's one penned by an author from an approved country. Who are they trying to kid? Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control has sent letters out warning that copy from Iranian authors cannot be edited without permission from the department because Iran is under a U.S. trade embargo. Other embargoed countries include Cuba, North Korea and Sudan.