Your recent stories last week about the closing of Sparrows Point and the Maryland Port Authority's purchase of new cranes from China were sad in many ways ("Gloom hangs over Sparrows Point mill," June 5). This state does not care about manufacturing, even though it could be the foundation of the region's economy.

Maryland does little to encourage an industry that at one time helped this country lead the world. Instead, the state purchases $40 million worth of equipment from China, a country that really should give us the cranes, since they will be used primarily to unload cheap Chinese consumer goods and to load raw materials we are exporting to China.

On the brighter side, China was probably kind enough to lend us the $40 million.

Mike Jacober, Relay