GERMANS WELCOME LIKELIHOOD OF VETO

GERMANS WELCOME LIKELIHOOD OF VETO

West Germans welcomed the likelihood of a presidential veto of the U.S. trade bill, but did not show the level of concern evident among U.S. trading partners in Asia.

We welcome this development, said an official of AEG AG, the German electronics company.Added an official at the electronics company Siemens AG, We would be very sad if it became law. We hope it isn't passed. The atmosphere of world trade would be worsened.

Germany is highly export-dependent, and the United States is its second- largest foreign market after France. But the nation appeared to be less concerned about the legislation than Asian exporters.

The German press has given the bill minimal coverage in recent weeks, while numerous German industry sources were unaware of the bill's current status.

And while Japan and South Korea have urged Mr. Reagan to veto the bill, Germany has not. The German Economics Ministry did not even have a copy of the bill.

In general, the bill is seen here as protectionist - a bad thing in the eyes of West Germans.

For the Siemens official, the bill's requirement of presidential action against countrieswith unfair trade barriers would violate the rules of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the Geneva-based organization that seeks to moderate world trade disputes.

German Economics Minister Martin Bangemann issued a statement on April 13 opposing the presidential requirement. He also said the bill would cause a move away from multilateral trade agreements to bilateral reciprocity.

An economist at the Dresdner Bank AG, Germany's second-largest commercial bank, seconded Mr. Bangemann's statement. Rather than going through GATT, the United States can decide when there are unfair trade practices, he said, adding that this would break down GATT's role in mediating trade disagreements.

West Germans do not believe such a bill would redress the U.S. trade deficit.

Such legislation only hurts a nation's trade partners, said Dr. Heinz Kremp, foreign trade director at the Frankfurt Chamber of Commerce. The nation with the trade deficit must try to restore balance by exporting more. They must export offensively to equalize the trade flow.

Not all provisions of the bill were taken seriously.

The Germans find it humorous that the president is bickering about a 60- day plant closing requirement, said Thomas Boam, the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service officer at the U.S. consulate in Frankfurt.

It's a total joke to Germans, who have to provide a complete social plan when shutting down a plant, he said.