WASHINGTON REPORT FOREIGN PUSH FOR US AIRLINE MART

FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS are likely to increase pressure on the United States to loosen restrictions against foreign airlines doing business here.

The reason is money. Morten S. Beyer, chairman and president of the Avmark Inc. aviation management service, said last week during an industry conference that U.S. carriers have increased their share of the international market since 1978 by 8 percent.Deregulation of the U.S. airline industry resulted in a rash of mergers and the creation of megacarriers with extensive domestic networks. As those carriers expand into international markets - and they are doing so more and more - they present hefty competition to foreign carriers whose operations in the United States usually are limited to a handful of cities, Mr. Beyer said.

Foreign carriers are prohibited from offering domestic service in the United States by U.S. cabotage laws. The airline industry will not let go of those laws without a fight, but calls for their elimination are coming from prominent quarters. Alfred Kahn, former chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board and architect of deregulation, is among those recommending loosening restrictions against foreign airlines.

PLANS ARE IN MOTION for U.S. coal exporters to hold coal receptions at the U.S. embassies in six to eight foreign countries next year. Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., can take credit for arranging formal authorization for the receptions in the fiscal year 1987 appropriations measure providing funds for Commerce and State department operations. The measure was madepart of Congress' omnibus spending bill.

Hosting the receptions in the embassies is designed to show the U.S. government's interest in encouraging coal sales and will help U.S. exporters make contacts with foreign buyers, a Rogers aide said. The costs of audio- visual presentations, brochures and other expenses for the receptions will be borne by the coal industry. The first reception is expected to be held in January.

THOUGH CONRAIL SURVIVED the legislative process as an independent carrier, it still could be acquired by another railroad once the federal government's holdings of its stock hits the public market.

Some congressmen, most notably Rep. William Eckart, D-Ohio, fear this could pave the way for Norfolk Southern Corp. to make another bid for the carrier since the law permits Conrail to be acquired if the transaction receives Interstate Commerce Commission approval.

The NS takeover bid is a possibility though several analysts think Western lines might be more interested in eventually acquiring the carrier.

Three House conference members refused to sign the final legislation permitting Conrail to be sold. They were Reps. Eckart, James Florio, D-N.J., who heads the subcommittee that considered the sale and Edward Madigan, R-Ill. All three apparently were unhappy with a decision to drop provisions protecting employees in acquisitions of short-line railroads.

NOW THAT THE U.S. COMMERCE DEPARTMENT issued a preliminary ruling that Canada is subsidizing its lumber exports at a rate of 15 percent, the big question is: Will Canada continue bilateral negotiations aimed at settling with U.S. timber producers?

Pat Carney, Canadian international trade minister, plans to meet this week with representatives of the Canadian timber industry, labor and provincial governments to discuss what to do next.

Ms. Carney has told the Canadian parliament that negotiations between her country and the United States for a freer trade zone are still on. But she gave no indication about whether the lumber talks will continue.

DON'T LOOK FOR any formal notice that the Defense Department has withdrawn its proposal to open partially to foreign vessels the carriage of U.S. military cargoes now the exclusive preserve of U.S.-flag operators.

Junking that proposal was part of the price the Reagan administration paid to settle the dispute with Iceland over which country's ships were to haul DOD cargoes between here and Iceland.

While most government agencies not only formally publish proposed rule changes, but also formally withdraw them, Defense doesn't give notice when it scraps a proposal.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has taken possession of many bad loans and a lot of unusual collateral as it picks up the pieces of collapsed farm and energy banks in the Southwest.

William Seidman, FDIC chairman, told reporters last week that the agency is willing to sell such new-found assets as a large stock of porno films, 15 percent of the nation's oil rigs, several tankers and a few race horses. Since the FDIC is usually compelled to close banks rather than pump in aid to keep them going, it is being sued frequently and is facing some 27,000 active lawsuits. FDIC already is the largest government employer of outside counsel right now and Mr. Seidman says he has heard from every old law school friend he ever had. No need to update his Christmas list this year.

GOING FOR THE GOLD: There is a new Olympic endorsement to go along with the official beer, blue jeans and so on - a U.S. Olympic team health insurance policy.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced that it is the official vendor of health insurance to team members for both the winter and summer games. The program of protection against illness and injuries makes Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its 79 member plans an official sponsor of the U.S. Olympic team.

THE CONGRESIONAL ADJOURNMENT RUSH brought with it the usual fever. This year House members, who had already missed their initial adjournment target date of Oct. 3, were sporting campaign buttons with the legend, Free the 99th Congress, in the closing days of the session.

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