Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

U.S. Automakers Look to Clinton to Address Trade Gap with Japan

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

U.S. Automakers Look to Clinton to Address Trade Gap with Japan

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON (AP) _ American automakers praised Clinton administration promises to address the trade gap Tuesday and dropped their threat to take action against Japanese companies for allegedly dumping cars in this market.

Top executives of Ford, General Motors and Chrysler decided in a conference call to pin their hopes on action by the Clinton administration rather than formally accuse the Japanese of dumping _ or selling cars here at price tags below those in their own country.

"We consider dumping a serious threat and we will, of course, continue to monitor the situation to assure that U.S. laws are obeyed," chief executive officers of the three companies said in a joint statement.

But they said they were shooting for "broader results" by working with each other and the Clinton administration to address the huge trade gap.

"We believe that this approach will give the Clinton administration the opportunity to develop its position on trade and jobs," they said.

The American automakers acted after U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor said this weekend on CNN's "Newsmaker Sunday" the administration would see to it that Japan kept promises to open its home market to imports.

"We're going to insist that they keep them," Kantor said. "We're going to enforce the law and enforce agreements."

Ford spokesman Bill Day said the three companies "made this determination in their own best self-interest but did so totally among themselves and without any pressure from the outside whatsoever."

"In our analysis, we've felt it important to give the Clinton administration breathing room to develop its trade policies, but that was solely our determination," he said.

The unfair trading practices complaint that automakers threatened last month, would have been the largest of its kind ever, covering billions of dollars of Japanese imports. …

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