Europe 1992: Danger or Opportunity?

January 13, 1989

Report Outline
Special Focus


The 12-member European Community will become a formidable trade competitor when it completes its program to create the world's biggest trading bloc in 1992. What should American business do now to prepare for the change?

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The year 1992 will mark the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' discovery of the New World. But the date is fast becoming shorthand for events that are drawing attention back to the Old World instead. The 12 nations that make up the European Community (EC), also known as the Common Market, hope by then to have set up the world's largest trading bloc.

Two decades ago, such ambitions would have been unthinkable. The postwar economic miracle, fueled by American aid and investment, was fizzling out. The Western European market seemed to be corporate America's for the taking. “The Common Market has become a new Far West for American businessmen,” French publisher Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber wrote in his landmark book of the late 1960s, The American Challenge. “Their investments do not so much involve a transfer of capital, as an actual seizure of power within the European economy.”

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Jan. 13, 1989  Europe 1992: Danger or Opportunity?
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