American-Soviet Trade

September 2, 1959

Report Outline
Red Trade Overtures to United States
Deterrents to the Expansion of Trade
Outlook for American-Soviet Commerce

Red Trade Overtures to United States

Trade between the United States and the Soviet Union, of inconsequential dimensions during the past decade, may assume increased importance as a result of Premier Khrushchev's coming visit to this country and President Eisenhower's later visit to Russia. Soviet leaders for more than a year have been trying to convince Americans that expansion of trade would serve the interests of the two great powers. Khrushchev, keynoting the campaign in a letter to the President dated June 2, 1958, asserted that a large-scale interchange of goods would “be of great mutual benefit to both countries” and would “further the cause of world peace.” The Soviet premier quoted the late Secretary of State Cordell Hull to the effect that “Commerce and association may be the antidote for war.”

Secretary of Commerce Frederick H. Mueller voiced the position which the Eisenhower administration has taken since Khrushchev's initial overture when he said, Aug. 7, that he favored expansion of commerce with Russia but only on mutually advantageous terms. “There is plenty of scope for increased trade” right now, Mueller said. “If Moscow truly seeks increased trade with us—as its spokesmen currently are saying—it can sell us more of what we really want and buy more of what we offer, provided, however, such commerce is not contrary to United States foreign policy and is not detrimental to our national security.”

Small Volume of Present Trade Exchange

The United States in 1943 imported $87 million worth of goods from Russia and exported $28 million worth to Russia. Since that year, when the cold war began in earnest, the volume of trade has been far smaller—so small, in fact, that one or two big shipments often have been enough to double the import or export total from one month to another. Such month-to-month variations have made it fruitless to look for up-or-down trends in the trade over any short term.

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