Commercial Aircraft: Cooperation and Competition Between the U.S. and Japan

by David Mowery, Nathan Rosenberg



The article highlights the competition existing between the U.S. and Japan in relation to commercial aircraft industry. The Japanese commercial aircraft industry has attracted considerable attention recently. In many cases, the Japanese industry has been cited as a threat to the future dominance of world markets by U.S. commercial aircraft. However, a comparison of commercial aircraft with other Japanese export industries suggests that fears of an imminent Japanese competitive threat in aircraft are exaggerated. The character of the global and Japanese domestic markets for commercial aircraft is such that a capacity within Japan for the independent design, assembly and sale of large commercial transports is not likely to be achieved prior to the 21st century. Government policies similar to those employed in other successful export industries are not feasible for the Japanese aircraft industry. Moreover, the research and engineering infrastructure necessary to support an independent capability in the design and manufacture of large commercial aircraft.

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