Courtesy Reuters

If wishing can make it so, the trade between the advanced industrialized countries of the West and the command economies of the East will be growing rapidly in the years ahead. The Soviet Union has made no bones about its strong desire to expand the scope of East-West trade. Businessmen, bureaucrats and politicians in the Western countries have been only a little more equivocal. Some countries have made an occasional effort to screen out technologies with important military application, while the United States has also sought to break down Soviet restrictions on the emigration of Russian Jews. But the West, too, has been on the side of expanded trade.

All told, the drive on both sides for more East-West trade has had its effect. Over the past 15 years, the annual trade of the U.S.S.R. and its COMECON partners with the advanced industrialized countries has managed to grow

This article is part of our premium archives.

To continue reading and get full access to our entire archive, you must subscribe.

  • Raymond Vernon is Clarence Dillon Professor of International Affairs at the Harvard Center for International Affairs and Herbert F. Johnson Professor of International Business Management at the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. He is the author of Storm Over the Multinationals and editor of The Oil Crisis, among other works.
  • More By Raymond Vernon