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FORD V.P.: NO JAPAN AUTO FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT IS BETTER THAN A WEAK ONE

 DETROIT, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- A weak U.S.-Japan framework agreement without clear measurement and results in autos and auto parts would be worse than no agreement at all, Ford's (NYSE: F) Washington Affairs vice president said today.
 Speaking at the Automotive News World Congress here, Elliott S. Hall said that "a weak agreement would serve only to take Japan's trade deficit out of the harsh light of national attention. It would, once again, take the spotlight off Japan and allow it to continue closed-door policies unabated."
 He stated that Japan's trade imbalance with the rest of the world was more than $700 billion from 1983 to 1993.
 "Some $500 billion of that," he said, "nearly 70 percent of the total was with the United States alone." Hall added that "it looks like the U.S. deficit with Japan will reach an all-time high in 1993 of $57 billion."
 That estimated $57 billion "can be translated directly into hundreds of thousands of jobs that they have and we don't have. Every billion dollars of trade deficit equates to about 20,000 American jobs lost. That's 57 times 20,000 jobs in 1993 alone. Talk about a sucking sound!"
 Hall's remarks focused on the framework negotiations leading to the Feb. 11 meeting between President Clinton and Japan's Prime Minister Hosokawa.
 "There are times when the right thing to do, the only worthwhile thing to do, is to refuse to negotiate," Hall said.
 American cars and trucks are now capable of competing with the best in the world, the Ford executive noted, "yet we cannot compete with a trading partner that keeps its doors closed and barred to the world. Or as President John F. Kennedy once said in another intractable situation, 'We cannot negotiate with those who say, What is mine is mine, and what is yours is negotiable.'"
 Hall noted that Japan, through trade bans and non-tariff barriers of all kinds, has kept vehicle imports to Japan down to just 3 percent. "Look at the numbers," he said. "The U.S. market is 30 percent imports. Japan's market is 3 percent imports. The U.S. market is open, Japan's was closed. It's that basic."
 Hall stressed that any trade agreement should provide measurable, quantifiable results; provide access to Japan's domestic dealers directly and not just through manufacturers; allow access to vehicle owner data to allow meaningful market research; and offer dramatic reduction of certification requirements and land office inspections that inhibit U.S. sales in Japan.
 The Ford executive also said, "Any agreement that doesn't allow American auto makers to at least double sales over the next three years isn't an agreement at all.
 "For more than 30 years now, Japan has been promising to open an avenue of free trade with America and the world. Yet, so far, traffic has been one-way.
 "The time for promises is over," Hall concluded. "The promise of a better future requires that Japan take action now."
 -0- 1/11/94
 /CONTACT: Beryl Goldsweig of Ford, 313-322-1524/
 (F)


CO: Ford Motor Company ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:

ML -- DE008 -- 0887 01/11/94 09:45 EST
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Date:Jan 11, 1994
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