Euro Could Strengthen Small Firms; Hurt U.S.

If smaller European firms gain competitive clout because of the euro, they could hurt U.S. workers by weakening U.S. companies, claims John A. Challenger, CEO of Chicago-based Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., an international outplacement firm. As the majority of European Union countries deal in the euro, their just-debuted single currency, small companies in the 11-nation "eurozone" are in a much stronger competitive position against their U.S. counterparts that do business in Europe, contends Challenger. "If the euro does as it is intended, which is to stabilize prices and virtually eliminate costs associated with cross-border transactions, smaller European firms will be better able to market their goods and services throughout Europe," Challenger says.

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