Iron Curtain: No Care for Profit

On an international scale, the Iron Curtain countries have learned at least one time-honored tactic of capitalistic competition: a surefire way to win business is to chop prices below those of your competitors. For more than a year, West European shipping lines have watched helplessly as East-bloc ships captured a growing share of European cargoes by underbidding established rates by as much as 50%.

Unlike West Europe's struggling merchant fleets, the state-owned Communist shippers—mostly Polish and East German—have no qualms about operating at a loss, and can thus carry goods at almost any rate...

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