ican political machine that stretches from coast to coast. Itsrnfoundations rest on political and economic espionage andrnintelligence gathering, diplomacy, lobbying, politicking, andrnpropagandizing—each carefully crafted and systematicallyrnintegrated with the others. Following Japan’s successful example,rnthe Koreans, the Mexicans, the Taiwanese, the Germans,rnthe French, the British, and dozens of other countriesrnarc expanding their political machines in America, l b understandrnthe goals and operations of the Japan lobby, therefore,rnprovides an insight into how foreign interests around the worldrnbuy political influence in America.rnAmong the victories racked up by the Japanese lobby inrnrecent years—machine tools, optical fibers, biotechnology,rnair transport, semiconductors, financial services—one recentrnexample illustrates its scope and power. In the spring of 1991,rnChrysler, Ford, and General Motors concluded that Japanesernautomakers were dumping cars and minivans in the Americanrnmarket—an unfair competitive practice that is prohibited underrninternational trade agreements and both American andrnJapanese law. Despite the law and trade agreements, however,rnJapan repeatedly used dumping to gain a strategic advantagernover its American competitors. The way the ploy worksrnonce an industry is targeted is that the Japanese market isrnclosed to foreign producers, the prices paid by Japanese consumersrnare kept artificially high, and the monopoly profitsrnfrom the Japanese market are used to subsidize the predatoryrnpricing of Japanese goods in the United States market until thernAmerican producers are driven out of business. This schemernhas been used by Japanese producers to destroy their Americanrncompetitors in the television, radio, stereo, machine tool, andrnsemiconductor industries among dozens of others.rnIn regard to Japan’s dumping of cars and minivans in Americarn—selling its vehicles at far below the price that similarrngoods were bringing on the domestic Japanese market—thernprice differential was so great that some West Coast autobrokersrnwere able to buy Lexus automobiles at full retail pricernin California and ship them back to Japan and make profits ofrn$15,000 or more per vehicle. Clearly, the Japanese automakersrnwere buying market share in the upscale American luxuryrnear market. But the dumping was not limited to luxury vehicles.rnThe Big I’hree concluded it was happening across allrnproduct lines, giving Japanese producers a distinct unfair andrnillegal advantage.rnAs a consequence of this predatory pricing, Japanesernautomakers had cut into the American automakers’ marketrnshare, cut their production volumes, eliminated their profits,rnforced them to close dozens of plants and fire tens of thousandsrnof workers, and significantly reduced their capacity tornraise capital. When in eariy 1993 Chinese steelmakers tried tornbuy market share in the Japanese market through dumping,rnthe government of Japan immediately imposed duties onrnthese imports. Under U.S. law, American automakers couldrnavail themselves of a similar remedy.rnIn 1991, the Big Three decided to exercise their legal rights,rnbut they chose to proceed on a step-by-step basis. Fheir strategyrnwas to do a test case on just one product line, get a win,rnand then file a broad-based dumping petition covering allrnpassenger vehicles imported from Japan. The test case thatrnthey selected was Japanese dumping of minivans. Minivansrnwere one of the domestic automakers’ few profitable lines.rnThcv had been invented by Chrysler in the early 1980’s andrnwere wildlv popular with consumers.rnIn 1991, the Big Three filed a dumping petition on minivansrnwith the U.S. Commerce Department. In 1992, thernCommerce Department ruled that the Japanese manufacturersrnwere indeed dumping minivans. But before dutiesrncould be imposed, another step had to be taken—the InternationalrnTrade Commission (ITC) had to make a determinationrnthat this dumping was actually damaging the Americanrnindustry.rnWhile the case was under consideration, the Japanese automakersrnmounted a public relations campaign to convincernlawmakers, the media, and ultimately the ITC that there wasrnno dumping and that, even if there was, the imposition of remedialrnduties would harm American consumers. The idearnwas to avoid having to pay duties. It worked. In a surprise ruling,rnthe ITC concluded that the Japanese dumping did notrnthreaten the domestic minivan industry and that no dutiesrnshould be imposed. The quirky nature of the ITC findingrnwas highlighted by the fact that the Big Three were sufferingrnhistoric operating losses, which threatened their very existence.rnThus, any loss of sales in one of their few profitablernlines could only worsen the condition of the Big Three and ultimatelyrntheir capacity to produce minivans.rnDespite the ITC ruling, the Big Fhree decided to file arnbroad-based dumping case against the Japanese automakers. Itrnwould include all imported sedans, station wagons, hatchbacks,rnand sports cars. But in January 1995, two weeks beforernthe petition was to be filed, a Commerce official leaked thernstory to the press.rnAlmost immediately, the Japanese lobby sprang into action.rnIts political advisors quickly devised a multifaccted politicalrnand public relations campaign to shape the debate andrnpreempt the Big Three. A key element of this strategy was tornshift the focus of discussion from “Japanese dumping” to “anrnadded cost for American drivers”—that is, the message thernJapanese wanted to convey was that any action to stop theirrndumping would raise the cost of Japanese vehicles. Second,rnthe Japanese lobby pulled out all stops to demonstrate to thernClinton administration that the dumping battle would bernmessy. The idea was to get the new administration to discouragernthe Big Three from exercising their legal rights. Asrnpart of this intimidation campaign, the Japanese lobby plantedrna story in the Detroit newspapers that 17 foreign carmakersrnhad agreed to hire lawyers to file antitrust suits against thernAmerican automakers and pursue libel suits against those whorndenigrated Japanese vehicles. By any measure, this was veryrnhard, hard ball.rnAt the same time, the Japanese lobby quickly formed arncoalition of interests within the United States. They includedrnimport auto dealers, American parts makers who sold to thernJapanese transplants, local chambers of commerce. For theirrnpart, American auto dealers who owned Japanese car franchisesrnlaunched a nationwide grass-roots political campaign.rnWorking through their trade association, the American InternationalrnAuto Dealers Association, the import dealers wererngiven training in effective techniques to lobby Congress.rnSimultaneously, Japan’s Washington lobbyists began torncontact members of Gongrcss and the press. Fach of themrndelivered a series of messages that had been tested andrnprepackaged by public relations firms employed by Japanesernautomakers and the government of Japan. These messages includedrn”Competition from import manufacturers has forcedrnAmerica to be more competitive. . . . Enforcement on thernMAY 1993/19rnrnrn