Since the early 1980s, complaints about unfair trade practices from leading western industrial nations began to intensify. Industries such as manufacturers of semiconductors and telecommunications equipment joined older complainants, including steel and textile producers, in seeking more safeguards against foreign competitors who priced their products too aggressively or whose governments subsidized exports or protected home markets. They demanded that increasingly stringent rules be enforced against the worst offenders. Through most of the postwar period policymakers had deemed it in the nation's economic and strategic interests to tolerate asymmetries and infractions in the international trading order. But that tolerance has been sharply lowered by new sensitivity to inequities, and a growing conviction that government should intervene to ensure a "level playing field."