Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

In Japan, Clinton Takes His Case to the People President Touts Trade Benefits to Consumers, as Tariff Deal Boosts Hope for Global Talks. TOKYO SUMMIT

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

In Japan, Clinton Takes His Case to the People President Touts Trade Benefits to Consumers, as Tariff Deal Boosts Hope for Global Talks. TOKYO SUMMIT

Article excerpt

IN his debut as globe-trotting statesman, President Clinton has practiced an unusual brand of "jobs diplomacy" during this week's summit of the Group of Seven (G-7) industrialized nations in Tokyo.

Mr. Clinton's chief target has been Japan, which, as the world's second-largest economy, holds the greatest potential for buying more American exports that would create more American jobs.

Leaders of Japan's ruling party, openly beholden to big industry, have been under pressure during the July 7-9 summit to compromise with Mr. Clinton in his demand that Japan set specific targets to import more goods and to reduce its record-high trade surplus.

Clinton reached over the heads of Japan's leaders at the G-7 summit, at some risk, to appeal straight to the Japanese people and opposition politicians, who may win an important national election on July 18.

He met with the opposition leaders on Tuesday, and delivered a well-publicized speech at Waseda University in Tokyo just before the start of the G-7 summit.

"We are not in any way trying to influence the outcome of the election," Clinton said. "But I owe it to the people of Japan ... to make the US case directly."

{In a related trade matter, hours before the opening of the summit yesterday, Japan and the US, along with Canada and the European Community, reached a compromise on tariff reductions on manufactured goods, a key part in the Uruguay Round of world talks on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

{This new agreement could lead to a conclusion of the round by year's end if compromises can be found in areas such as agriculture and service industries.}

Clinton's case to Japan echoes the motto used in the 1992 presidential campaign - "It's the economy, stupid." In his speech, he urged a repair of the strained economic ties between Japan and the United States; he pleaded with the Japanese people to join the US in a "common cause" to break down trade barriers in Japan that keep out foreign goods and services and that reduce America's ability to create export jobs. Clinton placed less emphasis than past US presidents on the traditional US-Japan security ties. …

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