International -- Readers Report
VIRGIN'S INTENTIONS ARE UNSPOTTED (int'l edition)
Richard Branson is right: Fares will increase, and service will decline if the BA/AA alliance is allowed.
I am afraid the BA/AA link will only force the consumer to pay more for a product that will not get better. Since the end of the gulf war, business travel has improved dramatically as competition has heated up.
David P. Morford
EnglandReturn to top
LET HIM WHO IS WITHOUT COCKINESS... (int'l edition)
Is Japan cocky? Maybe so, and it's about time it should be ("The Japan that gets away with saying no to America," International Business, June 24). I am an expatriate Asian who has worked in a few different countries and with different multinational companies. The U.S. should realize it cannot throw its weight around and expect others to take it--certainly not prosperous Japanese or Europeans. I think the U.S. can play a definite role in moving delinquent countries like China along the path toward equity and fairness, but it needs to do so with tact and diplomacy.
Bashing Japan is a symptom of past failures. In the postwar reconstruction period, the U.S. had enormous leverage in Japan but neglected its opportunity. Trying to penetrate the Japanese market will not be easy.
The U.S. needs to compete on price, performance, and features--and Japanese products are generally superior. The Japanese are not necessarily protectionists. But they are brand loyal. As new market entrants, Americans have to prove themselves. As for the distribution barriers, these affect not only foreign companies but also small and new Japanese companies.
Your story about General Motors Corp.'s Cavalier is a typical example of American products not satisfying the Japanese consumer. What's good enough for the U.S. may not be good enough for some export markets. On the cockiness scale, I rate the Japanese at 7 and the Americans at 10. The U.S. needs to improve its selling act and stop bullying the Japanese customer. After all, we all know the customer is always right.
Wai Lun Ng
ShanghaiReturn to top
`SALINAS' REPUTATION WAS NEVER STERLING' (int'l edition)
I felt that your article on Carlos Salinas de Gortari needed to be more objective ("Hanging tough with Carlos," News: Analysis & Commentary, June 24). President Salinas' reputation was never sterling--at least not in Mexico. I think a lot of people were hopeful, but that's as far as it got.
His overall direction for the economy rightly deserves praise, yet many questioned the practices he employed in trying to achieve his goals. And if Geri Smith believes that Salinas is in Dublin because he "admires the Irish people" and not because Ireland has no extradition treaty with Mexico, I have a bridge that she might be interested in buying.
Carlos Postlethwaite Garcia
Mexicali, MexicoReturn to top