The press and business magazines are filled with stories about a rush of
American firms into the European Community to take advantage of, or avoid the
adverse consequences of, the expected formation of a single market in 1992.
Yet, it is hard o find evidence of a large shift in plant and equipment
expenditures, employment, or financial investment toward the EC countries by
American firms. The main reason seems to be that large American manufacturing
firms are already well entrenched in the EC, and may even be better positioned
to take advantage of the single market than most of their European rivals. The
U.S. firms (unlike most Japanese companies) already supply almost all their
share of the EC market from operations within the EC and depend very little on
importing from the U.S. There is some indication of moves toward EC production
by non-manufacturing operations such as distribution and services, by smaller
companies, by those not now producing extensively in the EC, and by firms
hoping to take part in public procurement.
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