During the 1970s and 1980s, many second- and third-world countries accumulated enormous external debt. For countries facing convertible currency shortages or borrowing constraints, countertrade provided a means of circumventing structural trade imbalances. Due to intense global competition and the secrecy surrounding countertrade, little data is available regarding the scale and scope of this trading practice. This article updates the findings of a government survey performed in the mid-1980s and compares several parallel statistics from the earlier and later surveys. The combined information traces a pattern of American involvement in countertrade during the past decade.
Please log in to see the content.