Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



The title for my presentation given in your program clearly covers two major subjects, either of which would make an ambitious topic for the relatively brief presentation I intend to make today. Therefore, for the half-hour or so that I will talk before we get into the more important and valuable exchange of ideas and discussion to follow, I have made the decision, which I hope you will agree is sensible, to deal mostly with the subject I know more about--the protection of United States private interests abroad.

But just so no one asks for his money back, let me first say a few words about the United States perspective on exploitation and supply of energy resources. Our perspective can in fact be dealt with quickly because it is straight forward and obvious. Having suffered, along with most of the rest of the world, the adverse economic effects of the huge price increases imposed by the OPEC oil cartel, as well as the embargo actions of the Arab oil producers, we are most anxious to see new sources of oil and other energy supplies developed, which will reduce the relatively unrestrained monopoly power currently exercised by OPEC.

It is in this context that we are deeply concerned about the current expropriations of oil company assets that are occurring in a number of countries.