Apricots for Ammonia: Barter, Clearing, Switching, and Compensation in International Business

by Robert Weigand

Fall 1979

Volume 22
Issue 1

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In this article, the author discusses several consequences of non-money or free trading in international business in context of the U.S. business enterprises, specially in petroleum industries. He describes that American businesses have seldom been obliged to think about non-money trading, largely because our trading partners have tended to be free trade countries. Barter, clearing agreements, switching, and compensation arrangements are supposedly more tedious and less efficient than free trade, and are never the preferred ways to do business by American firms. But it is suggested that for the near future, an understanding of these trading procedures is essential for the manager who hopes to do business with Eastern countries or developing countries. The author details all these arrangements with giving examples of different countries adopting them. European laws concerned with selling to the socialist states and European export subsidies reportedly are often more amenable to these transactions than is American law.

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