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HONDA OPPOSES 'TRADE LIMITATION' LEGISLATION; ARGUES THAT HR 4100 WILL THREATEN AMERICAN JOBS

 HONDA OPPOSES 'TRADE LIMITATION' LEGISLATION;
 ARGUES THAT HR 4100 WILL THREATEN AMERICAN JOBS
 WASHINGTON, April 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Testifying before the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Consumer Protection and Competitiveness, Scott Whitlock, executive vice president of Honda of America Mfg., Inc., expressed Honda's "strongest possible opposition" to H.R. 4100, the Trade Enhancement Act of 1992.
 Arguing that the bill "does nothing for U.S. jobs," Whitlock said H.R. 4100 "is a terrible bill (that) discriminates against Japanese nationals investing in America, discriminates against the Americans working in the factories those investments have created, and is contrary to our national economic interest."
 The bill, introduced by House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.) would impose market share limits and other sanctions on the manufacturers of automobiles and auto parts that are wholly or in part owned by Japanese shareholders unless Japan reduced its bilateral trade deficit with the United States by 20 percent per year for five years.
 Whitlock told the subcommittee that Honda made the decision to invest in the United States in 1977, "before the present trade tensions between Japan and the U.S."
 "We came based on Honda's long-standing philosophy to manufacture our products in the markets in which the products are sold. Ours is an ambitious goal: to create in America a self-reliant motor vehicle company which is part of Honda's international operations and which has the resources to compete in the world market."
 Demonstrating the automaker's commitment, Whitlock told the subcommittee Honda's U.S. automobile plants stamp the major body panels from American steel; mold plastic parts (instrument panels and bumpers) from American plastic; manufacture engines from American iron and American aluminum in Honda's own foundry and die casting facilities.
 "For the fiscal year ending March 31, 1992, we purchased more than $2.8 billion of automobile original equipment parts and materials from 196 United States suppliers," Whitlock said.
 Whitlock outlined Honda's opposition to the legislation by saying:
 -- "The bill creates two classes of American workers, those employed by the Big Three and the tens of thousands who work for companies like Honda."
 -- "The bill discourages exports of American-made automobiles like Honda."
 -- "The bill will limit consumer choice and raise auto prices. H.R. 4100 introduces a new set of artificial restrictions that will limit the number of Japanese nameplate cars to choose from regardless of where they are made."
 -- "The bill sends an unmistakable message that future foreign investment is not welcome in the United Sates and that the U.S. is not a trustworthy trading partner. It will change in midstream the rules under which it previously welcomed billions of dollars of automaking investment to U.S. shores in the first place."
 Over half the cars sold by Honda in the United States last year were manufactured at American auto plants. Honda has four manufacturing plans in Ohio employing over 10,000 American workers. These include the Marysville and East Liberty auto plants with a joint capacity of 510,000 cars a year. Other installations include the Marysville motorcycle plant and the Anna Engine Plant which has the capacity to produce 500,000 engines, plus automatic transmissions, driveshafts, suspension and brake components.
 The Honda Accord, made in Ohio, is America's top-selling automobile. Honda exports the Accord and other models to 17 nations throughout the world.
 -0- 4/8/92
 /CONTACT: Toni Harrington of Honda, 202-554-1650/ CO: Honda ST: District of Columbia IN: AUT SU: LEG


TW-SB -- DC008 -- 6131 04/08/92 10:07 EDT
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Date:Apr 8, 1992
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