The Middle East: Critical Choices for the United States

By Eugene V. Rostow | Go to book overview

5
OPEC's Other Influence

RICHARD H. KAUFMAN

The influence of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) over the world economy is seen not only through its control over oil pricing, but also indirectly by the example it is setting for other commodity-producing countries to get together as cartels in order to raise the prices of their export commodities. This is an integral part of what the less-developed countries call the New Economic Order. As with the Holy Roman Empire that was neither Holy, Roman nor an empire, the New Economic Order is neither new, economic nor orderly.

In international monetary matters, the New Economic Order has meant concentrated efforts by less-developed countries to tie monetary reforms to their needs, as regards the selling of gold by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the issuance of Special Drawing Rights. In foreign trade negotiations, the less-developed countries seek preferential treatment for their goods by the industrial countries, without waiting to grant reciprocal treatment. In foreign aid matters, the less-developed countries have obtained increased lines of

____________________
Dr. Kaufman is an industrial and bank economist.

-81-

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