An internal Reagan administration scorecard shows little progress has been made in talks aimed at getting Japan to open its markets to American products in three areas other than telecommunications.
The scorecard, which is being circulated at high levels in the administration, directly contradicts the assertion last week of Mike Mansfield, the U.S. ambassador to Japan, that talks were going well in the areas of lumber and forest products; sophisticated electronics, and pharmaceuticals and medical equipment. Along with telecommunications, these sectors were targeted by President Reagan and Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone in January for special market-opening intiatives.
"Progress has been zip in all three," said a senior administration official.
According to one government source, the scorecard was given to Deputy Foreign Minister Reishi Teshimi, who rushed to Washingtion last week in an attempt to ease the growing trade tensions between the United States and Japan. It may also be used by Secretary of State George P. Shultz when he meets here later this week with Foreign Minister Shintaro Abe.
In New York, meanwhile, Morgan Guaranty Trust Co., the nation's fifth-largest commercial bank, recommended yesterday that the United States slap a special tariff on Japanese imports "as a powerful shock . . . to jolt Japan into a radical reordering of its trade strategy" so it accepts more foreign-manufactured products.
And David Packard, a leading American industrialist who headed the U.S. side of the U.S.-Japan Advisory Commission, has suggested imposing quotas on imports of Japanese communications and electronics products until American companies gain equal access to the Japanese market.
Both proposals provided vivid evidence of the hardening attitude in top echelons of American business toward what is widely seen as the United States' one-sided trade relations with Japan, in which this country recorded a $36.8 billion deficit last year. By overwhelming votes, Congress last week called on Reagan to retaliate against Japan's protectionist trade policies.
In an attempt to ease the growing trade frictions with the United States, considered the worst since World War II, Nakasone's government is scheduled to announce today a highly touted package of trade concessions. But according to United Press International, senior Japanese officials said in Tokyo the new measures are unlikely to satisfy U.S. critics.
The Nakasone government, however, took its first step yesterday toward implementing a promise to give American companies a chance to influence policies and standards in Japan's newly denationalized telecommunications industry, the Los Angeles Times reported. The government agreed to expand the number of members of its key Telecommunications Deliberations Council to 22, paving the way for the addition of Japanese representatives of American firms.
The concession was wrung from Nakasone personally by two special envoys sent by President Reagan to Japan 10 days ago in a last-ditch effort to make sure new telecommunications regulations that took effect April 1 gave American companies the same chance to sell in Japan that Japanese companies have in the United States.
In the other areas of ongoing trade talks, however, the internal Reagan administration scorecard shows hard going in U.S. attempts to get Japan to lower tariffs and other barriers to American products.
The scorecard is being circulated among the undersecretaries of State, Commerce and Agriculture and Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Michael Smith, who are leading negotiations in the three sectors with the Japanese.
In the area of forest products, where Japan maintains high tariffs to protect a small but politically powerful declining industry, the scorecard lists "no" in six of seven U.S. suggestions for opening the Japanese market to what is seen as less expensive and more efficiently produced American goods. Only limited acceptence was record in the seven suggestions.
The Japanese rejected four U.S. market-opening proposals for medical equipment and pharmaceuticals, while accepting one. The U.S. negotiators are awaiting a response to four other proposals.
Slightly more success was reported for U.S. negotiators in the area of sophisticated electronics, where Japan earlier agreed to three major American concerns. But five others have yet to be addressed and U.S. negotiators have received no response on the sixth, according to the administration tally.