ALLIED REQUESTS ACTION AGAINST JAPAN ON TRADE

ALLIED REQUESTS ACTION AGAINST JAPAN ON TRADE

Allied-Signal Inc. said it filed a petition with the U.S. Trade Representative Wednesday requesting that it take action to open the Japanese market to high- technology, advanced materials it manufactures.

"The Japanese government and industry have targeted amorphous metal alloys for exclusive development by Japan," said the Morris Township, N.J.-based company, which has businesses in aerospace, automotive products and engineered materials.As a result, Allied-Signal would be excluded from the more than $100 million Japanese market for electric transformers using this material, while ''Japanese industry would be in position to dominate the multibillion-doll ar world markets for these sophisticated products," the company stated.

The petition, filed under Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act, follows the submission of a statement to the Trade Representative in February that cited Allied-Signal's concerns about unfair Japanese trade practices relating to amorphous metal alloys.

Under Section 301, the Trade Representative is empowered to take steps to open foreign markets to U.S. manufactured goods.

Allied-Signal's amorphous metal alloys, marketed under the name Metglas, are used in the cores of electric transformers, where they cut energy losses by as much as 70 percent. The company said it has not been able to see any of these products in Japan.

M.J. Ascolese, a spokesman for the company, said the business is basically in a start-up mode, but added, "We expect it to be a large market."

Both Westinghouse and General Electric, the two largest manufacturers of transformers, are using Allied-Signal's materials, he noted.

The company charged that Japanese government agencies and companies working in concert have successfully taken the following steps to keep it out of the Japanese market for amorphous metal alloys:

* Manipulated the Japanese patent system so that it took 11 years for Allied-Signal's basic composition patent to be issued. During this time, Japanese companies worked to duplicate the American company's technology. The Allied-Signal patent has just three years of effective life remaining.

* Pressured Allied-Signal to license its proprietary technology to Japanese companies onunreasonable terms, backed by the threat of government aid to help evade the company's patents.

* Organized and funded a 34-company "Amorphous Metals Group" under the Japan Research and Development Corp. to speed development of a Japanese product to compete with Allied-Signal.

* Discouraged the purchase of Allied-Signal's amorphous alloys in Japan until Japanese companies could develop their own products.

* Pressured Japanese electric utilities not to buy transformers containing Allied-Signal's product, despite their clear superiority in conserving energy, a national priority in Japan.

Allied-Signal said it opened the world's first commercial plant to manufacture amorphous metal alloys last year.

While it has been successful in selling the material in the United States and other countries, it has been stymied in Japan, despite more than a decade of marketing efforts, which included the establishment in 1981 of a joint venture with Mitsui Group.

The company said the potential world market for amorphous alloys in transformers is $1 billion a year and more than $2.5 billion a year for other applications.

In addition, the technology upon which the material is based, also patented by Allied-Signal, is expected to have broad application in the development of additional new materials, including those for aerospace and superconductor applications, the company said.