Intergovernmental Commodity Organizations and the New International Economic Order

Intergovernmental Commodity Organizations and the New International Economic Order

Intergovernmental Commodity Organizations and the New International Economic Order

Intergovernmental Commodity Organizations and the New International Economic Order

Synopsis

Araim examines the role of intergovernmental commodity organizations in international commodity trade, focusing particularly on the effects of these organizations on the establishment of the New International Economic Order. Four major commodity organizations are studied in depth--OPEC, the Intergovernment Council of Copper-Exporting Countries, the International Bauxite Association, and the International Coffee Organization--to determine their ability to wrest control from transnational corporations, to repatriate the profits from the development of a raw material base, and enforce an altered economic order that gives greater prominence to the world's developing nations.

Excerpt

The main features of international relations since the end of World War II have been the proliferation of international organizations, the increasing concern with international economic issues, and the assumption of prominence by the developing countries, particularly in the United Nations. In addition, there is a tendency toward less formality in international economic relations which has been influenced by the principle of laissez faire and the dominant role of transnational corporations. This atmosphere led to polarization between the developing states, which have been advocating a New International Economic Order (NIEO), and the market economy states and, to a lesser extent, other developed states.

The restructuring of international economic relations according to NIEO envisages trade in commodities conducted either by commodity organizations of exporting countries or exporting and importing countries. The membership of commodity exporting organizations consists mainly of developing countries. They and the developed countries are members of commodity exporting and importing organizations.

This study concentrates on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) because of its impact on the international oil market, its success particularly in the 1970s to augment oil prices for the benefit of its members, and its ability to overcome crises facing it in the 1980s. Furthermore, it became a catalyst for action by the developing countries to ensure remunerative export earnings from their raw materials and tropical products. The two other commodity exporting organizations are the Intergovernmental Council of Copper Exporting Countries (CIPEC) and the International Bauxite Association (IBA). The members of both groups were expecting, in the 1970s, to achieve success similar to that of OPEC. However, with the exception of a brief period, IBA was less effective than OPEC. As for CIPEC, it was not able to influence the international copper market. Recently, the price of copper has steadily increased due to changes in supply and demand in the international copper market, and not due to CIPEC action.

The International Coffee Organization (ICO) is one of . . .

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