THE REAGAN ADMINISTRATION will try again this year to win Senate approval of a series of bilateral investment treaties with developing nations.

Last year, 10 such treaties were sidetracked in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, even though they were billed as non-controversial.Questions as to whether the treaties might constrain future U.S. foreign policy measures and political horse-trading between Democrats and Republicans figured in the committee's inaction.

The treaties would generally assure U.S. investors in developing countries of non-discriminatory treatment, dispute settlement procedures and fair compensation for expropriation. Egypt, Turkey, Bangladesh and Panama are among the prospective treaty countries.

Administration officials are hopeful the Senate will approve the treaties this year, but congressional sources say that isn't a sure bet.

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TREASURY SECRETARY James Baker came up with an exotic description for the annual tug-of-war over spending and taxes.

He told reporters the day the administration presented its budget that we go through this same mating dance every year, over whether to raise taxes to shrink budget deficits.

For the last three or four years, he said, administration critics predict broad tax increases will be required, while the White House budget proposals have avoided them. He also noted that this year's budget proposes more new revenue than it saves from spending cuts, but much of that would be from government-shrinking asset sales.

Mr. Baker insists that the mating dance, once again, will fail to produce broad tax hikes.

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FORMER SENATOR MARK ANDREWS is being mentioned as a possible successor to Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Hanford Dole should she decide to leave her post as expected later this year.

Worried industry lobbyists are insisting that administration officials have discussed the possibility of the post with Mr. Andrews, the North Dakota Republican who lost his bid for re-election last fall, and he reportedly is considering it. He served as chairman of a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on transportation, where he was a frequent critic of the Interstate Commerce

Commission on grounds its regulatory efforts were too oriented toward the free market.

Since his re-election loss, he has been mentioned as a candidate for other job openings. Sec retary Dole is expected to key her timing to the presidential campaign plans of her husband, Sen. Robert Dole, R-Kan. She left a previous post at the Federal Trade Commission shortly after he announced his intention to run for president in the 1980 election.

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AMONG THE CANDIDATES for the seat at the International Trade Commission that Democrat Paula Stern will be leaving is Ruth Kurtz, legislative assistant to Sen. William Roth, R-Del., and international economist for the Joint Economic Committee.

Ms. Kurtz, a Democrat, reportedly has support among some cabinet members and among both Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill. Democratic Sens. Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York, Bill Bradley of New Jersey and David Pryor of Arkansas have sent a letter to the White House in support of her appointment to the ITC. Before going to work for Sen. Roth in 1983, Ms. Kurtz was a member of Ms. Stern's personal staff at the commission. Former senator William Hathaway, D-Maine, also has been mentioned as a possibility for the post.

In the meantime, President Reagan is expected to nominate ITC chairman Susan Liebeler, an independent, to the federal bench soon. Ms. Liebeler is now filling one of three Democratic slots at the commission so that would leave the the White House with two Democratic vacancies to fill.

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IT'S LIKELY TO TAKE another month to hammer out details of a new maritime legislative reform initiative.

Rep. Walter B. Jones, R.-N.C., chairman of the House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee, is in the process of meeting with maritime union leaders and the chief executive officers of the handful of remaining U.S.-flag liner companies to get their views.

He hopes to avoid the double deadlock that doomed efforts for such legislation in the last Congress. Then the companies themselves were divided over the details of a program and the Reagan administration balked at its likely cost.

There is a degree more optimism now than last year, if only because the Democrats are running both House and Senate.

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SEN. BENNETT JOHNSTON, D-La., reportedly is pressing for passage of legislation establishing national appliance efficiency standards within the first hundred days of Congress.

The legislation, which will lower consumer energy costs, its proponents say, cleared Congress in the last session but was pocket vetoed by President Reagan. If vetoed again, the measure has enough support in Congress to override President Reagan, according to the coalition backing the legislation.

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SUE THEM: The chief judge for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York insists that the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings deficit reduction law is affecting such basic needs that the most recent appointee to our bench has been denied the law books he needs in chambers . . .

In an recent legal journal, Judge Jack B. Weinstein protested that there is no way for federal courts to limit our intake or our overhead.

He warned that we may be approaching a Sixth Amendment problem because there is no adequate facility at the correction center in which lawyers can see clients. I do not have the marshals to provide meeting space and protection in the courthouse.

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THE WASHINGTON AUTOMOTIVE Press Association held its first annual dinner last week. The entertainment included a a musical group with a name close to the hearts of the assembled reporters and automobile industry executives - The Passive Restraints.

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