THE NEXT BATTLEGROUND by Tim Jackson

THE NEXT BATTLEGROUND

Japan, America, and the New European Market
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A journalist's savvy appraisal of how corporate America and Japan, Inc., measure up against a more or less united European Community in the trilateral struggle for economic ascendancy in Europe. A sometime Tokyo correspondent for The Economist who now heads the Brussels bureau of The Independent, Jackson reviews the implications as well as the realities of stiffer EC competition. He points out, for example, that while the hitherto fragmented Continent has long been a lucrative source of profits for many US companies (which often use them to offset shortfalls in their stateside operations), it's unlikely to remain so. The author casts a cold eye on the rivalry in key arenas. For openers, he dismisses Japan's overextended banks and brokerage firms as an immediate threat. By contrast, however, Jackson believes that Old World car- makers (whose mass markets are still dominated by Ford and GM) could be in for further shocks at the hands of Japanese manufacturers that have been building a European infrastructure since the mid-1980's. Noting that entertainment goods (CD players, tape recorders, TV sets, etc.) have long since become the virtually private preserve of Asian suppliers, he concedes American producers of computer hardware and software a substantive edge. The author goes on to outline the perils of industrial policy as ineptly practiced by EC technocrats, closing with a lucid analysis of why European and US concerns should test themselves in the demanding environment of Japan's domestic market. While Jackson covers much the same ground as did Daniel Burstein in Euroquake (1991) and Lester Thurow in Head to Head (p. 313), he does so with a reporter's appreciation for anecdotal detail that brings big-picture perspectives to life. A perceptive overview, then, of a consequential clash among the world's economic superpowers.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-395-61594-1
Page count: 318pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1992