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a split over machine tool imports

by:SNK     2019-09-18
Steve Rott.
1991 this is a digital version of an article from The Times Print Archive, before it starts online in 1996.
To keep these articles as they appear initially, the Times will not change, edit, or update them.
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For decades, machine tools have been considered an ordinary but vital industry, often seen in American military and trade politics.
They\'re behind the scenes. the-
Scene workers in the industrial economy, used for cutting, grinding and boring a variety of products, including weapons.
In both world wars, machine tools were officially designated as state of emergency.
Production considered essential for wartime mobilization.
In the 1980s S, the decline of the domestic machine tool industry was seen as a symbol of the US manufacturing dilemma and Japan\'s export offensive.
Today, the industry is once again at the center of debate on larger issues related to trade policy and national security.
The Bush administration must decide as soon as possible whether to extend five terms. year-
Old restraint procedure for imported machine bed.
Due to the increasing complexity of the global trade model and the recent geopolitical changes in national security, this time it will be a difficult choice.
Renewal is uncertain. The Ministry of Commerce is expected to make suggestions on whether to renew the contract within a few days
Annual restrictions due at the end of this year.
Recommendation of department--
Is expected to be a call for renewal-
Then, after consultation with other agencies, including the Department of Defense and the Office of the US trade representative, the government will review it.
According to government officials, the results of this review are by no means definitive.
Advocates and opponents of import restrictions no longer line up in neat camps.
For example, several of the most competitive machine tool manufacturers in the United States want to remove protection from domestic producers because they have the odd effect of protecting Japanese market share and increasing the cost of many American producers.
They point out that one problem with the complex system of import restrictions is that it defines American machines by basic casting quantities
The composition of iron is American.
However, computer control is ignored, which means that the cost of modern machine tools is getting higher and higher.
The biggest supplier of this control is Japanese company Fanuc Co. , Ltd. So the free-
Traders say those who like restrictions are going backwards
In the international competition to find the \"line \".
\"People who want to keep these restrictions are trying to fight an end war,\" said Brian McLoughlin, president of Hurco, a machine tool maker in Indiana.
\"Protectionism does not work.
The only way to revitalize the industry is to focus on R & D and develop the leading
Cutting-edge technologies for global competition.
\"As far as they are concerned, the Japanese, who are the main targets of the restrictions, have officially remained silent on the matter, but are pleased to see the restrictions reappearing. The so-
The so-called voluntary restriction agreement is to freeze Japan\'s huge share of the US market, while limiting Japan\'s development in the US market. and-
Competitors such as Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore.
Today\'s world security calculations are also very different from when the Reagan administration urged Japan and Taiwan to join the voluntary restrictions agreement in 1986.
At that time, the United States believed that the machine tools for making missile and bomb parts should not rely on foreigners.
But it was still the era of the \"evil empire\", when the Soviet military threat meant it before the Berlin wall was demolished.
\"All these national security arguments have been greatly weakened due to recent events,\" Gary C said . \"
Hufbauer is a senior researcher at the Washington Institute of International Economics.
Most companies in the machine
The tool industry and 200 lawmakers eager to protect domestic jobs insist that the national security argument remains valid.
National security
\"It\'s outstanding for business,\" said James Mack, vice president of government relations at the Manufacturing Technology Association of the industrial trading group. The pure free-traders, Mr.
Mike said, \"I hope this country will become Blanche DuBois of international trade politics ---
Always relying on the kindness of strangers, \"refer to the faded Southern beauty of Tennessee Williams in the streetcar of desire.
\"The advertising restrictions agreement allows Japanese producers to occupy more than 50% of key machine tool markets such as computer lathes and machining centers, while warning other countries that they will be punished if they rush to increase their sales in the United States.
Taiwanese were forced to join the agreement in part to make it appear that the Japanese were not punished.
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Opponents of Renewal argue that the restriction agreement has increased their costs by forcing them to buy more expensive domestic products
Manufacturing parts, angering overseas buyers and creating a \"freak\" effect to protect Japanese producers, as their share of the market is calculated at a cheap yen, a peak in imports.
However, the experience of Hurco, based in Indiana, shows that the cost of a high-cost voluntary restriction agreement
Technical Machinetool maker.
Hurco, which has annual sales of about $100 million, is a company that has recently revived.
In 1980s, productivity was increased and foreign markets actively entered through investments in computer control and software research.
At present, more than half of the company\'s sales are overseas, including in East Asia. At Hurco, Mr.
McLoughlin estimates that the restriction agreement has forced his company to increase the cost of making machine tools by more than 10%.
He said the company was forced to buy more expensive parts such as castings at home
The iron base and Shell on the machine tool, instead of buying cheaper from Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea.
In a machine that costs $70,000 cheaper, he says, the extra cost is about $7,000. McLaughlin.
Hurco has also been forced to invest $6 million in new models and in establishing new sources of supply for processed castings
According to the binding agreement, they can become American machines. That money, Mr.
Otherwise, he will be invested in computer control and software research, which is a competitive advantage for Hurco, McLoughlin said.
According to Met president Ray Blakeman, import restrictions refer to the United States as protectionism, thus making it harder for American companies to sell overseas
Coil Systems Corporation is Cedar Rapids, Iowa. it has a joint venture in Japan and a sales office in Taiwan. Mr.
On August, Blackman, former president of the machine tool Trade Association, wrote to the board in protest against the organization\'s support for the extension of the agreement.
\"We are riding a lame mule and should go to the ranch,\" he wrote . \".
Supporters who continue to restrict imports say the deal protects domestic industries and allows them to increase investment.
The extension of three to five years will give domestic industry time to regain competition, they added.
Revenue from the industry has increased slightly since 1986, estimated at $2.
The employment rate has fallen by 9 billion this year, more than 8,000, to 60,150. At K. T.
Swasey Winthrop Cody, a machine tool maker in Milwaukee, said import restrictions helped his company get the breathing space needed to invest heavily in computers
Provide auxiliary design equipment and training for engineers.
He estimates that his business productivity has increased by 25% over the past four years.
Advertising without import restrictions, \"countries like Japan and Taiwan will occupy more of our markets, because they will cut prices to gain market share regardless of the cost . \"
Cody, president of Swasey, is a subsidiary of Cross & Trecker Corporation.
Economists and trade experts generally laugh at the high cost of using voluntary restriction agreements in industries such as automobiles, specialty steel, textiles and ball bearings for consumers, and have little real help for protected industries.
At best, these restrictions may temporarily slow the contraction of domestic industry and encourage foreign producers to set up factories in protected countries to avoid obstacles.
In fact, Japanese machine tools companies, including Mazak, Okuma, Toyoda and Amada, now have factories in the United States.
Some experts say the real hope for the future of American machine tool manufacturers is to increase their competitive edge in the basic business and unite to develop new computers
Control technology to surpass Japan and other competitors.
Some such joint research work is currently under way.
For example, next-
The power generation controller project is supported by $20 million from the company, the Air Force and the National Manufacturing Science Center, a research consortium based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Started in 1988.
\"This effort could have a huge impact on US manufacturing,\" said Ed Miller, president of the center . \".
\"But there will be no impact today or tomorrow.
\"A version of this article appears on the national edition D00001 page in October 7, 1991, with the title: the split of machine tool imports.
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