Soviet-American Political and Trade Relations

February 24, 1933

Report Outline
The Roosevelt Administration and the Russian Problem
American Political Policy Toward Soviet Russia
Soviet-American Trade Under Non-Recognition
Potential Trade with Russia After Recognition
Special Focus

The Roosevelt Administration and the Russian Problem

Position of Senators on Recognition of the Soviet

A reappraisal of the whole question of Soviet-American political and trade relations is expected to be undertaken by the Roosevelt administration soon after March 4. It is now believed that the Soviet government will ask, or will be asked, by the new President to send an envoy to Washington with power to discuss the conditions upon which recognition would be granted. The administration would presumably request some settlement of the old Russian debt, require guarantees that Soviet consulates in this country would not engage in Communist propaganda, and propose reciprocal trade agreements.

Recognition of the 15-year-old Soviet state, followed by development of normal trade relations, has been urged in the last year by numerous business executives. Sharp attention has been drawn to the trade aspects of the question by the rapid decline of American exports to Russia, the value of such shipments in 1932 falling to a point approximately 87 per cent below the 1931 total. In spite of the loss of employment involved in this decline, President Green of the American Federation of Labor reiterated, January 29, 1933, labor's contention that “those who make up the Russian dictatorship must disavow in clear and unmistakable terms the doctrine of world revolution and of the establishment of Communism by force before any consideration whatever is given by the United States to the recognition of Soviet Russia.”

On the same day, eight hundred educators, representing 268 colleges in 45 states, petitioned the President-elect to recognize the Soviet Union after he takes office. The Fellowship of Reconciliation, which initiated the petition, declared through its national chairman that “the failure of America to recognize the Soviet government is one of the most serious hazards to peace in the present critical world situation …[and] has contributed to the serious situation in the Orient.” Hope was expressed that the petition would help to swell “the rising tide of American sentiment in favor of recognition which will lead the administration and Congress to act.” DeWitte C. Poole, chairman of the State Department's division of Russian affairs from 1920 to 1924, said at Boston February 18, 1933, that while he believed American policy toward the Soviet had so far been sound, recognition would now be mutually advantageous to both peoples.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
U.S.-Soviet Relations
Sep. 14, 1990  The Western Alliance After the Cold War
Feb. 10, 1989  Soviet Trade: In America's Best Interest?
Nov. 01, 1985  U.S.-Soviet Summitry
Jul. 09, 1982  Controlling Scientific Information
May 25, 1973  Trends in U.S.-Soviet Relations
Apr. 05, 1972  Russia's Diplomatic Offensive
Feb. 09, 1972  Trading with Communist Nations
Mar. 10, 1971  Indian Ocean Policy
Apr. 21, 1965  Negotiations with Communists
Nov. 13, 1963  Scientific Cooperation with the Soviet Union
Oct. 03, 1963  Trade with the Communists
Sep. 11, 1963  Non-Aggression Pacts and Surprise Attack
Oct. 11, 1961  East-West Negotiations
Mar. 29, 1961  Russia and United Nations
Aug. 10, 1960  Challenged Monroe Doctrine
Sep. 02, 1959  American-Soviet Trade
Jul. 03, 1959  Cultural Exchanges with Soviet Russia
Aug. 11, 1958  Conference Diplomacy
Jul. 23, 1958  Limited War
May 14, 1958  Cold War Propaganda
Feb. 26, 1958  Military Disengagement
Feb. 20, 1957  Indirect Aggression
Jul. 25, 1956  Trading with Communists
Jan. 11, 1956  Economic Cold War
Nov. 26, 1954  Peaceful Coexistence
Dec. 01, 1953  Tests of Allied Unity
Sep. 18, 1953  Negotiating with the Reds
Jun. 17, 1953  East-West Trade
Apr. 12, 1951  Non-Military Weapons in Cold-War Offensive
Apr. 20, 1949  Mediterranean Pact and Near East Security
Apr. 28, 1948  Trade with Russia
Sep. 11, 1946  Loyalty in Government
Jul. 31, 1946  Arctic Defenses
Apr. 01, 1943  American and British Relations with Russia
Feb. 24, 1933  Soviet-American Political and Trade Relations
Nov. 03, 1931  Russian-American Relations
Feb. 14, 1924  Russian Trade with the United States
Bilateral and Regional Trade
Regional Political Affairs: Russia and the Former Soviet Union