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US issues guide on aid to trade

The Reagan administration promised to resist growing efforts by other governments to subsidize or otherwise unfairly and their companies in world trade. In a long-awaited "white paper" spelling out its trade policy, the administration said, however, that American companies should be on their own in meeting legitimate competition from abroad.

The 15-page document was released by US Trade Representative Bill Brock at the opening of hearings by subcommittees of the Senate Committees on Finance and Banking.

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"Where other nations have a natural competitive advantage, US industry must either find a way of upgrading its own capabilities or shift its resources to other activities," the document said.

"Where the foreign advantage is based upon government subsidies and other trade-distorting practices, US policy will be to enforce US trade laws and to work to eliminate such practices."

The paper also said that import restrictions, subsidies to domestic industries, and other market distorting measures should be avoided. It did not rule out "adjustment assistance," which generally means helping displaced workers and firms relocate.

The administration also said:

* It counts on noninflationary economic growth, through its economic program, to do much to improve US competitiveness in world trade.

* It favors changing US laws and regulations that discourage American exports , including clarification of laws against bribing foreign officials and easing taxation of Americans abroad.

* It will seek removal of foregin subsidies and market restrictions that affect US services and high-technology industries.

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