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     The last SEAOSC dinner meeting speaker( 3-5-97) discussed a similar
topic. His CA firm had been successful in high rise in China. The speakers
point was that Asia sees American firms as having creative vision they lack.
Reading between the lines , it seemed that getting payment there is a
problem.
      Also, at the SEAOSC inspection/observation seminar last Saturday one of
the speakers showed a project in Saudi Arabia that was done by his L.A. firm.

     My uncle spent many years in Saudi with Aramco and in Iran and India
with Bechtel.
     Westinghouse? built a nuclear powerplant in the Philippines for Marcos.
      Weren't there several Parsons exec's on board when Ron Browns plane
crased on a trade mission in Europe.
     I also have seen literature promoting a design trade show of sorts in
Singapore next Fall inviting American firms.
     I think these are just a few examples of American engineering firms
working worldwide on a regular basis. Overall , i think protectionism would
hurt much more than it would help.
     I can see price competition from Mexican firms could be a concern but if
? they also allow us to design in that country, maybe we should consider ways
to compete in that market instead of being protectionist. I personally think
people of many countries see us as technically superior and would pay more
for it. 
     All this assumes you are talking about significant projects. For small
projects, i don't see foreigners able to compete with the service of a local
firm, especially with the amount of onsite time now expected on every job (
mandatory structural observation ). When i was plan checking, i noticed many
A/E fims from out of state but they usually used a local geotechnical and
civil engineer.

     Thats my 2  centavos  worth

     Tom Harris, SE
     Thousand Oaks, CA


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