Your Oct. 9 editorial on America’s “need to win the global trade war” struck a nerve with us as we do research for a joint introductory presentation on U.S. trade competitivenessfor the upcoming Camden Conference.

Our research indicates that America is suffering, not from trade war, but rather from a focus on domestic priorities that unwittingly undermines our foreign trade. Our weakened export sector has no effective defenders, while many special interests unknowingly work against it. Labor unions, large retailers, consumer advocates, multinational corporations, environmentalists and fiscal conservatives, to name only a few, seek regulations that, as a side effect, make U.S. products uncompetitive.

All of these interests lobby Congress to maintain the status quo that produces our trade deficits. You quote Rep. Mike Michaud as recommending that we seek solutions through surveying U.S. companies.

We would recommend that instead we survey a) the more trade-sophisticated companies that have faced the U.S. trade disincentives and chosen to move their production abroad and b) the exporters of the European Union who achieve persistent trade surpluses despite much heavier regulation.