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America's `Green Industry' in the Spotlight

The author of the opinion-page article ``Clinton and Environmentalists: A Costly Parting of the Ways,'' Sept. 6, informs us it is time for environmentalists to ``sever the bonds'' from that polluting monarch President Clinton. But is this revolution justified?

What the author calls ``endless waffling'' others would call addressing problems so complex they sometimes appear intractable. Without sounding like a 100 percent Clintonite (I'm not), consider two international achievements: the North American Free Trade Agreement and the pending Uruguay Round agreement.

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The author objects to the administration's failure to emphasize new North American market opportunities for United States environmental services and products. On the contrary, Washington spotlighted this industry as a potential winner in the new North American market. The president is criticized for not fighting for ``special advantages'' for America's green industry in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade talks - yet the entire purpose of GATT is to eliminate special breaks for individual countries and establish open trading rules.

Ignored are the important environmental accomplishments in NAFTA and the Uruguay Round, including the North American Commission on the Environment and reform of the GATT subsidy code permitting governments to fund environmental upgrades for polluting firms.

It looks as if we don't need that environmental declaration of independence after all. William Avery, Burlington, Vt.

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