Poverty Is a Priority for Brazil's Candidates

Regarding the opinion-page article, ``Brazil's Balloting and Human Rights,'' Aug. 10: Official data from the 1991 census show that 32 million Brazilians, of which 15 million are 18 years old and younger, live in poverty. Even if this is an extremely high figure, it is almost half the number cited in the article. There are 200,000 to 700,000 children and adolescents living in the streets of Brazil. This is not something we are proud of, but the 7 million cited by the article is exaggerated.

The article reflects a politically partisan approach by associating the defense of justice and the promotion of a higher quality of life with the electoral platform of a single presidential candidate. All the candidates view combating poverty as a priority, not only to better the prospects for the Brazilian people, but also to improve the country's human rights record, given the clear links that exist between poverty, hopelessness, and all forms of violence. Frederico Cezar de Araujo, Washington Brazilian Embassy

Take GATT out of the ballgame

Regarding the article ``Clinton Sells GATT Treaty as a Home Run,'' Aug. 10: If President Clinton wants to treat the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade as a baseball game, his fastball should be saved for next season because home base has not been covered. Neither Congress nor the public has adequately debated this issue, at least not as thoroughly as they did the North American Free Trade Agreement last year.

Congress is concerned with how to coordinate United States antidumping and other trade laws - carefully crafted laws protecting our environment, health, and human rights - some of which could be challenged as unfair barriers to international trade.

Congress has not worked out the financing of the deal. There is an estimated $13 billion required over five years to fund the agreement, but the immediate concern is for the lost revenue from lowered tariffs. Robert Brewster, San Diego

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