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Japanese automakers see downturn in exports

Japanese car producers forecast a slowdown for the rest of the year in sales to the United States and Europe, because of a rise in the value of the yen, stiffening competition from other small-car producers, and a seasonal decline. The forecast came as the US International Trade Commission began a three-day hearing in Washington at which the Ford Motor Company and the United Automobile Workers blamed imports of small, fuel-efficient Japanese cars for widespread unemployment and lost profits in the US auto industry. They asked the ITC to recommend to President Carter a reduction in import levels for the next three years, with restrictions then phasing out by 1985.