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Can Free Trade and Protectionism Coexist?

The article "Experts See Grave Implications in US Shift Away From Free Trade," Jan. 24, describes an increasingly important aspect of international commerce: the conflict between free trade and protectionism.

In this vein, I find this country's increasingly vocal protests against foreign trade barriers darkly amusing in light of United States protectionist sentiment. Especially ironic is the pressure exerted on the Japanese to lower their nontariff trade barriers while domestic consumers are urged to spurn imports and "buy American." While trade restriction must be addressed, we send a rather hypocritical message to our trade partners when we demand free trade while raising protectionist barriers of our own. Peter W. Farney, Grand Forks, N.D. Identifying Queensland officials

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The article "Press Conference or Center Ring?," Dec. 26, is a fair and accurate appraisal of journalism in Australia. But the statement, "Dempster asked the Queensland premier (equal to a state governor) about the doctrine of the separation of powers," is open to misinterpretation. The premier in question was not the current premier of Queensland, but his predecessor. And perhaps it should be explained that although the office of premier in Australia is similar to a state governor in the United States, a

state governor in Australia is a separate nonpolitical office representing the Queen of the British Commonwealth, of which Australia is a member. Ronald G. Walker, Maroochydore, Australia Pursuing the POW/MIA question

Regarding the editorial "Lay the POW/MIA Myth to Rest," Jan. 13: There is too much smoke surrounding this issue for there not to be a fire smoldering somewhere.

Our nation cannot stand another coverup. A full disclosure of facts must be made now while the United States has some leverage over Hanoi. Olga Cossi, Coronado, Calif.

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