For many years, in order to induce foreign firms to set up production in Europe, national administrations seem to have been making use of European measures for protection against the import of certain goods. Import restrictions, especially in their most common form of non-tariff barriers, in fact maintain a climate of uncertainty. This in tum induces foreign firms to make direct investments for the local production of goods whose import is threatened. France is no excep­ tion to this tendency, which is also particularly marked in Belgium, Ireland, Italy and Spain.