Be fair about NAFTA

Regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in the View from Capitol Hill article "Thumbs Down on NAFTA Pact," July 6: There is no denying that some sectors of the United States economy will be hit harder by NAFTA than others. While the vast majority of studies that have been done on the effects of NAFTA's impact on labor forecast a net increase in US jobs, sectors such as textiles and apparel are predicted to be among the losers.

However, this scenario is far different from the author's ominous prediction of NAFTA's "dragging down" the American middle class.

Additionally, the reasoning that firms always seek those countries with the lowest wages is simply not supported by existing evidence. After all, it was BMW that chose to locate its first non-German plant in Spartanburg, a city in the senator's own South Carolina, largely on the basis of his state's ability to supply skilled labor.

Let's be clear about the stakes involved in NAFTA and try to avoid the hyperbole that has visited the debate in recent weeks. Paul Turner, Bloomington, Ind.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please fax letters to (617) 450-2317 or address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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