TRUMP'S TRADE SOLUTION

TRUMP'S TRADE SOLUTION

It sounds so easy.

The United States is ''getting fleeced in every way'' in world trade thanks to its bumbling bureaucrats and sly trade partners, multimillionaire Donald Trump declared Sunday. But never fear, Trump said - he'll whup things into shape if he's elected president.Trump, the New York developer who's considering a presidential bid under the Reform Party banner, left no doubt of his feelings about key trade partners: Japan is ripping us off; France needs to be taught respect; Saudi Arabia takes advantage of us.

Trump said he would appoint himself U.S. trade representative and turn things around with tough negotiations. ''I guarantee you the rip-off of the United States would end,'' he said.

His comments did not reveal a strong understanding of trade issues or negotiating processes. But they did exhibit a clear grasp of what will resonate with many Americans: anti-foreign, anti-trade, anti-Washington sentiments. While they differ in content from those of Pat Buchanan, the isolationist demagogue who also wants to be Reform candidate for president, they punch the same hot buttons.

But things that seem too easy usually are. There's no denying that global trade issues can be frustrating - for all concerned. But, like it or not, negotiating international accords isn't exactly the same as bargaining private real-estate deals.

And what would President/Trade Representative Trump do if he didn't get his way? Buy out Japan? Dismiss France? Walk away from it all?