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McDonnell Douglas Goes Shopping for a Partner

February 02, 1992

I am tired of protests about McDonnell Douglas' plan for a manufacturing alliance with partners in other countries.

There is nothing technologically advanced about building airplanes: It is the simple riveting together of metal sheets. To call that "high-tech" is ignorant nonsense. Furthermore, if there were anything advanced about the way the riveting is done, U.S. production costs would already be lower than elsewhere in the world. They are not.

It is those production costs that McDonnell Douglas wants to reduce. By harnessing the lower labor costs of another country, two benefits result: lower unit cost and greater accessibility to specific air transport markets, both of which translate into greater profit.

For future partners, who already have the capability to build airplanes, the attraction lies in the opportunity to share in large-scale manufacturing which is not otherwise available.

We should stop such a deal?

BARBARA COOK

Long Beach

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