Trade with Russia

April 28, 1948

Report Outline
U.S.-Russian Trade and Politiacl Relations
Size and Composition of Trade with Russia
East-West Trade and European Recovery
Special Focus

U.S.-Russian Trade and Politiacl Relations

First Flurry Over Export of Potential War Goods

Dissension between the United States and Russia, combined with the demands of the European Recovery Program on American production, is bringing about a sharp reduction in exports from this country to the Soviet Union. Although the full extent of the reduction is not reflected in currently available trade statistics, the flow of American goods to Russia is already being restricted under tightened export controls recently put into force. It is expected to thin to a trickle as application of the Marshall Plan gets under way.

Soviet trade, except during the period of wartime lend-lease shipments, never has bulked large in United States export totals. The value of American commodities delivered to Russia in 1947 formed an even smaller percentage of total exports than before the war. The trade became an object of protest only because of the deterioration in Soviet-American political relations. Mounting concern over the possibility of war with Russia gave rise to mounting criticism of the shipment to that nation of industrial machinery and other commodities of potential war value.

Objections to the trade with Russia were first raised last November when attention was directed to the fact that considerable quantities of heavy industrial equipment, some of it classified as lend-lease, had been exported to the Soviet Union during the first nine months of 1947. The State Department promptly explained that the lend-lease shipments comprised goods, purchased under a postwar credit agreement, to which the Soviet Union had acquired title before the lend-lease pipeline had been shut down at the end of 1946. Chairman Bridges (R., N. H.) of the Senate Appropriations Committee nevertheless took the administration to task for permitting the shipments and threatened to hold up funds for interim aid to Europe. He said he found it hard to understand “how the government can call upon the Congress to stop the threat of Communism and at the same time … justify by any stretch of the imagination these lend-lease shipments to Russia or any other delivery of materials.”

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
Export Sanctions and Restrictions
Regional Political Affairs: Russia and the Former Soviet Union