Russia has been called the “largest single market in the world.” American business men, anxious to participate in trade opportunities believed to exist in Russia, have brought considerable pressure upon the State Department from time to time to alter its attitude toward the Soviet Government. This pressure has been renewed, following the extension of de jure recognition to the existing Russian Government by the Labor Government of Great Britain. Trade opportunities provide one of the principal talking points for that group in the Senate that is seeking to bring about a resumption of diplomatic relations between Russia and the United States. The following study is intended to bring out the past and present trade relationships between the two countries and the factors, which are likely to have an important bearing on future trade possibilities.
Present Limitations on Trade with Russia
The United States Government places no restriction on trade with Russia, except that it does not approve American citizens taking over from the Soviet Government the confiscated property of private individuals. The fact that the Soviet Government has not been recognized deprives American citizens of diplomatic protection in respect to their dealings in Russia, but notwithstanding this lack of protection a certain amount of trade is at present being carried on and has been in progress for several years.
While the Soviet authorities have announced that preference in purchases abroad is being given those nations with which the Russian Government has diplomatic relations or commercial treaties, the fact that Great Britain and Germany have secured the largest share in Russian trade is due primarily to the circumstance that these nations are and have been for many years the principal markets for Russian exports.