The Fund has taken cognizance of the fact that the signatory of a special exchange agreement would not be free to impose discriminatory exchange restrictions against other contracting parties, without having the benefit of any provision in the special exchange agreement comparable to Article XI, Section 2, of the Fund’s Articles. Therefore, a signatory would be unable to impose exchange restrictions against contracting parties that were members of the Fund, but the latter would be able to impose exchange restrictions against the signatory. Members would be able to do this under Article XI, Section 2, unless, of course, the Fund made the finding referred to in that provision. It is true that Article XV: 4 of GATT provides that contracting parties shall not, by exchange action, frustrate the intent of the provisions of GATT, but Article XV: 9(a) states that nothing in GATT precludes the use of exchange restrictions if they are in accordance with the Fund’s Articles.
At a time when the growth in premium gold transactions engaged the close attention of the Fund, an effort was made to affect the actions of non-members in connection with these transactions. Under Article IV, Section 2, members must refrain from buying gold at a premium (a price above the par value plus the prescribed margin) or selling it at a discount (a price below the par value minus the margin). The provision does not explicitly prohibit sales by members at a premium or purchases at a discount, and it does not deal with purchases or sales by private parties or non-members. However, as already noted, under Article I (iii), it is a purpose of the Fund to promote exchange stability, maintain orderly exchange arrangements among members, and avoid competitive exchange depreciation; and under Article IV, Section 4(a), members undertake to collaborate with the Fund to promote exchange stability, maintain orderly exchange arrangements with other members, and avoid competitive exchange alterations. On June 18, 1947, the Fund communicated to members a policy statement 16 in which it deprecated international sales of gold at a premium and recommended that all members take effective action to prevent these transactions with “other countries or with the nationals of other countries.” The statement went on to say that:
The experience of the International Monetary Fund in relation to non-member states illustrates the misleading character of any principle, however formulated, which suggests that states cannot be affected, to their advantage or disadvantage, by a treaty to which they are not parties.