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U.S. Telecommunications Market Called Restrictive

July 24, 1986|Associated Press

BRUSSELS, Belgium — Deregulation of the U.S. telecommunications market has not eliminated unfair barriers to foreign suppliers, a report by European government and industry officials said Wednesday.

"The U.S. market is open theoretically, but in practice it's really not that open," Michel Carpentier, an official at the executive Commission of the European Communities, told a news conference.

Carpentier led a group of EC and industry officials on a recent fact-finding tour of the United States to assess the openness of the American telecommunications market and to explain efforts to liberalize the European market.

The group concluded that European suppliers faced a variety of non-tariff barriers in the U.S. market, including costly and lengthy type-approval procedures. Their report said it cost European suppliers of public digital switching systems an extra 20% to 30% to adapt to U.S. specifications.

The EC is concerned about a rising deficit in telecommunications trade with the United States, reaching $501 million last year. The EC is a net exporter of telecommunications hardware, recording an overall trade surplus of $1.2 billion last year with its international trading partners.

U.S. and European authorities are scheduled to hold further talks on telecommunications trade in Brussels this autumn.

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