IGNORE REAL COSTSRobert Repetto and Cresencia Maurere argue (''Climate Pact Won't Hurt Growth,'' Dec. 5, Page 6A) that although the proposed treaty on global climate change might devastate some industries, it could expand economic opportunities for the environmental industry. This is akin to saying World War II was good for the construction industry because so much of Europe and Japan was destroyed.
The science supporting the Kyoto accord on global climate change is, at best, highly questionable. Beyond that, Mr. Repetto and Ms. Maurere ignore the very real costs to American industry. They infer that because other developed nations will be handicapped by the new treaty as well, we will all have the same rough competitive disadvantage and therefore the new treaty will have little effect on U.S. exports. This is nonsense. America is not like other countries. Our economy is vastly larger (currently, our 4 percent of the world's population produces about 26 percent of the world's goods and services) and, in a competitive global economy, needs access to new markets. That access depends in large part on capital and the wherewithal to produce and sell and export. The new treaty would cripple many industries at home and impede their expansion abroad.
A study by the Argonne National Laboratory for the Energy Department issued in February 1997 found the tenets of the Kyoto treaty would lead 20 percent to 30 percent of our basic chemical industry to move to developing countries within 15 to 20 years (developing nations like China and Mexico are excluded from the treaty), close all primary aluminum smelters by 2010, cut the number of steel producers by 30 percent and the number of steel jobs by 100,000 and result in a one-fifth reduction in output by petroleum refiners.
All told, Wharton Econometric Forecasting Associates predicts that the treaty would culminate in a loss of over $250 billion in 2001. WEFA concludes that between 2001 and 2002, the household incomes would fall an average of almost $30,000.
Advocates of the new treaty can try to minimize costs, but in the real world, people really do lose jobs, companies shut down and standards of living decline.
The Kyoto accord is bad policy and would be bad law, and the National Association of Manufacturers, in concert with labor, agriculture and other business groups, intends to keep fighting against its extreme and unfair provisions.
Paul R. Huard
Senior vice president
National Association of Manufacturers
'MADE IN USA'
SHOULD BE JUST THAT
As one who has been vitally interested in expanding U.S. international trade as secretary of commerce and special representative for trade negotiations, I believe that your Dec. 3 editorial (Page 6A) ''Made in USA'' and the same day's headline that ''Anti-trade views may have spurred Made in USA edict'' completely misses the intent of the law administered by the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC is responsible for truth in advertising. If a product contains only 75 percent of U.S. material, it is inaccurate to permit a ''Made in USA'' label.
Secondly, if certain people favor lowering the standards for use of the ''Made in America'' label, their views must reflect the label's value, which has been built up by U.S. workmen and companies over generations. It is unfair to give away 25 percent of its value without any compensation for those who have created that value.
Such views are certainly not anti-trade but rather based upon equity and accurate administration of the law.
Frederick B. Dent