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Smart Says U.S. Firms Should Get Equal Chance in Airport Bidding

August 18, 1986

TOKYO (AP) _ Japan should give U.S. firms an equal chance to compete for contracts in the building, equipping and service of a $6 billion airport project in Osaka, U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce Bruce Smart said Monday.

″Because the project is underway and cannot be delayed there is need for immediate agreement on the procedures″ by which U.S. companies can enter into the bidding for all future contracts, he told reporters in Osaka.

A transcript of his remarks was provided by the U.S. Embassy.

Earlier Monday, Smart met with Yoshio Takeuchi, president of the Kansai International Airport Co., and Michio Yanagi, lieutenant governor of Osaka Prefecture, or state.

Noting that Japanese construction companies had revenues of $1.8 billion in the United States in 1985 while U.S. companies had none in Japan, Smart said, ″this is perceived as convincing evidence of unfairness by U.S. industry and the U.S. Congress, and damages our otherwise harmonious relations,″ creating calls for restrictions against Japanese products.

In his meeting with Takeuchi, Smart called for more Japanese imports of U.S.-made construction equipment such as earth moving equipment, special trucks and rock drills, Kyodo News Service reported.

Kyodo quoted Takeuchi as telling Smart that his firm will follow the principle of seeking low prices and good quality in selecting bids for construction of the terminal and supply of equipment.

Smart indicated that the United States is considering retaliation against Japan if it discriminates against U.S. and other non-Japanese firms in work on the airport project, Kyodo said.

The new airport, to be build on 5.25 billion cubic feet of dirt dumped into Osaka Bay, will have an 11,480 foot main runway. Construction work is scheduled to begin later this year and be competed in 1993.

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