The Problems of East-West Trade
One or two decades ago discussions on East-West trade were almost exclusively dominated by political motives, although often concealed behind technical formulae. But there was beyond the shadow of a doubt the political determination of the strategic embargo practised by the ‘West’ and, similarly, there were defensive political factors prevalent in the principle adopted by the ‘ East’, aiming at an absolute independence in respect of the basic materials and fuels considered as strategically important. Embargo and, in its turn, autarky are but twins, offspring of the same spirit, tendencies which reinforce and apparently justify each other. ‘Les extrêmes se touchent.’ It is, moreover, a fact that the institutions, created in accordance with the prevailing political motives to some extent, deliberately hampered the development of trade between East and West, and continue by their mere existence to hamper it, in spite of the changed political situation. It may be proper in our discussions to start from the assumption that the political atmosphere in 1968 is different from what it was in 1953; although fundamental differences exist between the politico-social systems of the states representing ‘East’ and ‘West’ and the possibility of conflicts cannot be excluded, their probability — in contrast with the fifties — is looked upon by both the West and the East as extremely limited and conflicts are not sought for.
KeywordsComparative Advantage World Trade Socialist Enterprise Socialist Country Monetary Basis
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