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Loral's Just a 'Satellite' of Ford, but Where's the Furor Over Its Sale to 3 European Firms?

November 11, 1990

The article, "Loral to Sell 49% Stake in Ford Division" (Oct. 23), described plans by Loral to sell the satellite division of Ford Aerospace to three European firms to create one of the world's largest commercial satellite businesses.

I consider a satellite company a strategic industry that is important to the national security of the United States. As such, I waited for expressions of opposition from members of Congress and media columnists. I have waited for a week and haven't heard any opposition whatsoever from any source. That is very disturbing. Can we afford to have foreign firms taking over U.S. satellite technology while at the same time diminishing our capabilities?

Four years ago, when Fujitsu of Japan made overtures to acquire Fairchild Semiconductor, the political uproar was so intense that Fujitsu was forced to back out. A satellite company is orders of magnitude more sensitive with respect to national security than a nearly defunct semiconductor manufacturing facility.

Why is there no opposition on this Loral sale? Why was there so much opposition to the Fairchild-Fujitsu sale? I can imagine the furor Loral would have caused if they were discussing this sale with Japanese companies. We do not seem to have a "level playing field." Is it a matter of U.S. racism?

Our organization, the Japanese-American Citizens League, is an American civil rights organization composed mostly of Americans of Japanese ancestry. We look Japanese, so we are affected by any adverse U.S.-Japan relations. It is the duty of our U.S.-Japan Relations Committee to publicize our concerns.

EDWIN Y. MITOMA, South Bay JACL, U.S.-Japan Relations Committee, Rancho Palos Verdes

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