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U.S.-CANADA SELECT PANEL REPORT EXAGGERATED AND MISLEADING, JAMA SAYS; REPORT OVERLOOKS PROGRESS OF PAST SIX MONTHS

U.S.-CANADA SELECT PANEL REPORT EXAGGERATED AND MISLEADING, JAMA
 SAYS; REPORT OVERLOOKS PROGRESS OF PAST SIX MONTHS
 WASHINGTON, June 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The findings of a recent report released by the U.S.-Canada Automotive Select Panel appear to be intentionally exaggerated and misleading, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) said today. According to JAMA, which has the report under review, there appear to be fundamental contradictions in the way the panel report defines the U.S. auto industry and then measures U.S. competitiveness.
 William Duncan, general director of JAMA's Washington office, said that JAMA welcomed the panel's approach that the U.S. and Japanese auto industries undertake serious discussions about ways to improve the global competitiveness of the North American auto industry. He indicated that Japanese automakers were disappointed, however, with the overall report which appeared to be drafted to reach preferred conclusions favorable to only one segment of the U.S. auto industry.
 For example, the panel defined the U.S. auto industry to include U.S. transplant production figures, but did not appear to include these figures when computing competiveness. Duncan said: "The panel report appears to be a political document, designed to support political action favorable to U.S. automakers rather than a study which makes scientific conclusions from hard data. At a time when we are trying to normalize relations between our countries -- this is a step in the wrong direction."
 The panel's report also contains an unreasonable evaluation of new entrants' contributions to the North American economy and goes on to classify new entrants differently from traditional vehicle manufacturers, ignoring their economic contributions in the form of wages and taxes to the particular region -- larger economic contributions, in some cases, then those made by U.S. automakers. Additionally, the report fails to mention the number of vehicles the new entrants are exporting to Japan and other countries and the subsequent economic gains from this export activity.
 The panel's report goes on to condemn Japanese automakers and depicts Japan's competitive market place as a "sanctuary," when in fact import quotas or duties on completed cars reaching Japan's ports are non-existent.
 According to Duncan, the report also overlooks the fact that Japan's leading automakers have already taken many of the steps the report goes on to recommend. Duncan said some of the most important steps that Japanese automakers have taken in the past six months include:
 -- Voluntarily limiting their 1992 exports to the United States to a level below 1991 imports (noting that in 1991, Japan's automotive exports were about 25 percent lower than the voluntary limit set for 1991).
 -- Planning to increase purchases of U.S. auto parts by approximately $10 billion by 1994.
 -- Meeting with the chief executive officers of the Big Three automakers to discuss concerns and establish mechanisms for future cooperation.
 -- Organizing a conference with major U.S. suppliers in Las Vegas in September 1992 to further the promotion of U.S. auto parts sales to individual JAMA member companies.
 Duncan said: "Japanese automakers remain committed to working with U.S. automakers -- to improve sales of American-made cars in Japan, to work with more U.S. auto parts suppliers and to purchase substantially more U.S. auto parts." Duncan said these efforts would both increase employment in the United States and help improve U.S. competitiveness.
 JAMA is the national trade association for the 13 Japanese manufacturers of motor vehicles and motorcycles. Its members include: Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd.; Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.; Hino Motors, Ltd.; Honda Motor Co., Ltd.; Isuzu Motors Limited; Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd.; Mazda Motor Corporation; Mitsubishi Motors Corporation; Nissan Diesel Motor Co., Ltd.; Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.; Suzuki Motor Co., Ltd.; Toyota Motor Corporation; and Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.
 JAMA is dedicated to improving communication and cooperation between the United States and Japanese auto industries and is devoted to the dissemination of factual information on the world auto industry. JAMA, which is headquartered in Tokyo, has offices in Washington and Brussels, Belgium.
 -0- 6/26/92
 /CONTACT: John Kiker for the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, 202-342-7048/ CO: Japan Automobile Manufacturers Asociation ST: District of Columbia IN: AUT SU:


KD -- DC006 -- 4182 06/26/92 11:32 EDT
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Date:Jun 26, 1992
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