In the past two decades, Americans have become much more conscious of international economic and financial interdependence. The oil shocks of the 1970s brought home to citizens of the United States their dependence on that particular import. But the perception has been more general. As both imports and exports of goods and services have increased relative to GNP, more and more Americans are aware that their well-being is tied up with what happens in the rest of the world. Similarly the increase in financial interpenetration among the industrial countries, as capital has become much more mobile, has made Americans realize that what happens to interest rates and other financial variables at home depends to a significant degree on policies and events in other countries. Thus the perception of interdependence has grown with the increase in actual interdependence.
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