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Now's the time to open Europe to U.S. products... says NATA's Ed Spievack.

Now's The Time To Open Europe To U.S. Products

The International Trade Commission must realize that unless the U.S. dramatically alters its diplomatic policies, the European Community's traditions of nationalism and mercantilism will keep EC markets closed to U.S. telecommunications products even after the economic integration scheduled for 1992.

Barriers may come down within the borders of the community itself, but Europe's history is that of trade with the world, not the world's trade with Europe.

Distribution of telecomm products there is controlled through government post and telegraph ministries or through monopoly concessions made to cartels by those ministries.

Unlike the U.S., where manufacturers are free to design and apply any technology behind certain network interface standards, products cannot be distributed in Europe without meeting government certification requirements that set out design standards applicable to every piece of equipment that gives access to the telecommunications network.

But even if U.S. products make it through the design requirements of European certification, government control over distribution strictly limits the sales volume of any producer outside the cartel system.

Some argue that these controls and limits to competition are necessary to protect consumers from poor or malfunctioning equipment at times of crisis, but that's a thinly veiled marketing ploy that parades behind fears for life, health, and welfare.

With the consumer spending verve of the U.S., its market has grown as the surplus market to the world.

The U.S. sits outside the mainstream of its world trading partners. Ours is a policy of free trade and substantially open markets heavily oriented toward consumer spending, struggling against European policies of mercantilism and managed markets that function under consensual arrangements and sundry forms of regulation.

If U.S. diplomacy cannot break through the cartelized structure of restricted trade and protection, then arrangements must be negotiated that guarantee the U.S. a trade surplus as a percent of total trade with Europe. The U.S. open market policy keeps the factories of Asia and Europe running around the clock at maximum capacity and full employment.
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Publication:Communications News
Date:Oct 1, 1990
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