Is it worth exporting corn and fodder in exchange for toys and cosmetics? It was a question Gheorghiu-Dej of Romania asked himself, when confronted with increasing East German demands for agricultural exports. He was keen on overcoming underdevelopment through a vast program of industrialization in order to overcome the status of a predominantly agricultural country but he perceived his CMEA partners to be opposing this prospect. In the context of increasing economic difficulties in the Soviet bloc in the early 1960s, an idea was circulated that specialization would help increase efficiency so that Socialist countries could successfully compete on Western markets. But the meaning of specialization appeared different for each country: Gheorghiu-Dej thought that Romania deserved an equal status with other more developed nations of the Soviet bloc, but it soon became clear to him that they had different views. His perception was that the East Germans and Czechoslovaks wanted Romania to remain a provider of agricultural products and hold off its industrialization plans, but he could not accept that. This study argues that intra-CMEA competition between developed and less developed member countries played a major role in compromising the reforms planed by Moscow in the early 1960s.