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CHRYSLER SUPPORTS CLINTON'S TOUGH JAPANESE TRADE POLICY

 ZURICH, Switzerland, June 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Chrysler Corporation's (NYSE: C) support for the Clinton administration's Japanese trade proposals was discussed today by a top company official.
 Speaking before the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce in Zurich, Chrysler President Robert A. Lutz said the administration is justified in proposing a tough trade policy toward Japan, including specific targets aimed at cutting Japan's worldwide trade surplus.
 "... Chrysler ... certainly supports the Clinton administration proposals of last week which would demand that Japan set hard-and-fast targets to cut its global trade surplus by half and raise its imports of manufactured goods by one-third by 1996, as well as targets to further eliminate trade barriers with -- and this is important -- mutually agreed upon ways of measuring progress," Lutz said.
 Lutz said this action would be, in principle, no more than was undertaken by the European Community two years ago when it moved to limit Japanese auto makers to no more than 16 percent of the EC market through the end of this century.
 "The truth is, the world trading system will be strengthened, not unraveled, by demands that Japan truly join the modern world of industrialized nations by opening up to that world. And if it takes concrete targets to achieve that, then so be it," Lutz said.
 Even though Japan is the second-largest economy in the world, Lutz said, it's a virtually closed economy. According to one recent report, he said, various trade barriers are costing the United States alone as much as $18 billion a year in lost imports. Total automotive import penetration in Japan in 1992 was less than 3 percent.
 By contrast, Lutz pointed out that last year Japanese automakers took 12 percent of the EC auto market; just under 30 percent of the Swiss market, and 25 percent of the American market -- despite a resurgence of domestic brands in the United States.
 Lutz said so far this year Chrysler has sold almost twice as many vehicles in Switzerland as in Japan, even though the Japanese market is more than 20 times the size of the Swiss market.
 Chrysler's president cited a number of Japanese barriers to imports, pointing out that while foreign vehicles are sold at more than 90 percent of all auto dealerships in the United States, foreign vehicles are sold at only 7 percent of all dealerships in Japan.
 He called obtaining distribution in Japan a "Catch-22". One asks the Japanese, he said, "Why can't I sell more in Japan?" The reply: "Because you can't get access to distribution." "Why can't I get wider distribution?" The reply: "Because you don't sell enough."
 Lutz also called the U.S. Treasury Department's decision in 1989 to override its own Customs Department and reclassify imported multipurpose vehicles (MPV) from trucks to cars as "The Strange case of the Cross- Dressing Trucks." He said: "These trucks aren't really cross-dressing, of course. However, the U.S. government did get fleeced," referring to the fact that the Customs Department ruling is presently costing the taxpayers at least $500 million a year in lost revenue. Cars imported into the U.S. pay an import duty of only 2.5 percent versus a 25-percent duty on trucks.
 -0- 6/16/93
 /CONTACT: Lee Sechler of Chrysler, 313-956-2894/
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CO: Chrysler Corporation ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:

DD -- DE009 -- 2605 06/16/93 12:18 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 16, 1993
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