Soviet Union Information Bureau


TRADE between the Soviet Union and the United States has immense possibilities, particularly in regard to American exports. During the Soviet fiscal year 1927-28 the turnover of Soviet purchases here, and sales of Soviet products shipped to the United States, aggregated about $120,000,000, as compared to $92,600,000 for 1926-27 and $48,000,000 for 1913. Soviet-American trade, despite difficulties inherent in the present lack of a trade treaty, is showing a healthy growth.

The United States now furnishes about 23 per cent of Soviet imports and receives 3.5 per cent of Soviet exports. In igi the United States furnished 5.1 per cent of the imports of the Russian Empire and received 0.9 per cent of the exports. In 1913 Germany furnished 42.6 per cent of Russian imports and took 29.8 per cent of the exports. At present the United States is a competitor with Germany for the largest share of the import trade of the Soviet Union. England up to the spring of 1927 stood second to Germany on the Soviet import list. After the Arcos raid and the rupture of relations with the Soviet Union, England dropped to third. Soviet imports from England have decreased by 6 per cent in the past two years.

The principal Soviet exports are grain and other food products, oil, timber and furs. Of these only furs find a large market in the United States. On the other hand the principal Soviet imports are cotton, machinery and non-ferrous metals, for which the United States is a natural market.

Soviet exports to and imports from the United States, according to Soviet customs statistics:

Exports to U. S. Imports from U. S.
1913 $7,290,000 $40,730,000
1923-24 4,377,500 49,955,000
1924-25 14,471,500 103,618,000 (1)
1925-26 15,810,500 62,881,500
1926-27 11,962,900 74,998,400
1927-28 14,368,500 96,717,000

Trade between the Soviet Union and the United States is handled in the main by four New York corporations, representing Soviet industrial and trading organizations. These firms are:

Amtorg Trading Corporation, 165 Broadway, New York, representatives in the United States of the principal trusts, syndicates, trading agencies and other economic organizations of the U.S.S.R., with the exception of the All-Russian Textile Syndicate and co-operative organizations. During 1927-28 the Amtorg made purchases in the United States of industrial equipment, agricultural machinery, non-ferrous metals, etc., for shipment to the Soviet Union, to the value of $33,100,000 and sold Soviet products worth over $12,000,000. The firm's purchases for the year showed an increase of 27 per cent.

All-Russian Textile Syndicate, 39 Broadway, New York, representatives of the Soviet AllUnion Textile Syndicate, purchase American cotton for shipment to the Soviet Union. Orders placed in the United States by this firm during 1927-28 amounted to $54,300,000, an increase of 23 per cent over the previous year.

Centrosoyus-America, 17 Battery Place, New York, representatives of the Union of Consumers' Cooperatives of the U.S.S.R. During 1927-28 the turnover of this firm was $,8oo,000, of which $3,300,000 represented sales of Soviet products.

Seiskosojus-America, 90 West St., New York, representatives of agricultural producers' co-operatives of the U.S.S.R. During 1927-28 the firm placed orders in the United States amounting to $5,400,000.

Several American firms deal directly with the Soviet Union by virtue of special agreements with the Soviet government. Among such firms are:

Eitingon-Schild Co.
Standard Oil Co. of New York
Lena Goldfields Co.
Allied American Corporation
Russian-American Compressed Gas Co.

The principal Soviet purchases in the United States are cotton ($54,300,000 in 1927-28), agricultural equipment ($15,000,000), industrial machinery ($11,000,000), automotive equipment ($2,700,000) and metals. The principal Soviet sales in the United States are furs, casings, fish products (including caviar), manganese ore, bristles, flax and tow and precious metals.

Purchases of American cotton for Soviet mills have averaged nearly no,000 metric tons annually for the past two years, as compared with less than 75,000 tons for the two previous years. A steadily decreasing amount of this cotton is purchased abroad, through German or British middlemen.

Purchases for the past four Soviet fiscal years, in metric tons:

U. S. England Germany Total
1924-25 66,564 13,325 1,477 81,366
1925-26 58,550 6,058 2,274 66,882
1926-27 112,348 7,352 119,700
1927-28 93,083 1,218 2,699 97,000

South American Trade

Trade between the Soviet Union and South America was inaugurated only in November, 1925, but increased so rapidly that in the Soviet fiscal year 1926-27, ending September 30, a turnover of $14,852,000 was reached, eight times the prewar figure. The total direct trade between Russia and South America in 1914 amounted to $1,800,000.

By far the greater part of Soviet-South American trade consists of exports of hides, largely from Argentine, to the U.S.S.R. The total purchases in South America for shipment to the Soviet Union for the period of November 1, 1925

January 1, 1928, amounted to $29,958,972, of which 83 per cent was hides, 9 per cent quebracho, 3.6 per cent wool, 0.7 per cent iodine, and other products 3.7 per cent. Nearly twothirds of the purchases were made in Argentine (61.3 per cent). The share of Uruguay was 16.7 per cent, Brazil 13.9 per cent and other South American countries 8.1 per cent.

Purchases in South America for 26 months ending December 31, 1927, were as follows:

Hide $24,851,408
Of this, in
      Argentine 14,817,539
      Uruguay 4,751,439
      Brazil 4,172,137
      Paraguay 1,000,000
      Chile 109,800
Quebracho in Argentine 2,708,090
Wool: 1,078,023
Of this, in
      Argentine 828,023
      Uruguay 250,000
Iodine: In Chile 200,000
Other Products 1,121,451
Total $29,958,972

Sales of Soviet products in South America for the corresponding period amounted to $537,536, of which the bulk was veneer ($323,169) and timber ($116,200).

Until the end of 1927 the trade operations in South America were conducted by the South American branch of the Amtorg Trading Corporation. At the close of 1927, however, the yzhamtorg Corporation with a capital of 1,500,000 Argentine pesos was formed at Buenos Aires. The Yuzhamtorg has a branch at Montevideo, Uruguay, and is opening additional branches at Asuncion, Paraguay; Rio Grande, Brazil; Valparaiso, Chile.

For the first time direct shipments of South American products to the Soviet Union were organized. During 1926 and 1927, 24 ships carried 111,000 tons of freight from South America to Soviet ports, Odessa, Leningrad and Murmansk.

American-Russian Chamber of Commerce

The American-Russian Chamber of Commerce, incorporated in 1916 and reorganized in 1926, is composed of American firms interested in trade with the Soviet Union. Since its reorganization it has been actively engaged in promoting economic, commercial and industrial relations between the United States and the Soviet Union.

The Chamber publishes a monthly Bulletin for distribution to members containing first-hand reports from Moscow on trade opportunities in the Soviet Union and on the economic situation.

The Chamber maintains an office in New York and one in Moscow. The Moscow office is in charge of Mr. Charles Hadden Smith, vice-president of the Chamber, an American railway engineer who has spent much time in the Soviet Union during the past ten years. His office maintains contacts with various departments of the Soviet Government.

The Chamber has an arrangement whereby it secures visas for its members desiring to visit the Soviet Union.

The first annual American Year Book and Directory of the American-Russian Chamber of Commerce was to be published early in 1929. This Year Book was printed in the Russian language and contains information about the United States of value to Russian executives and officials interested in American trade.

The officers and directors of the Chamber are as follows:


CHARLES H. SMITH VicePresident
GEORGE H. HOWARD Secretary and Treasurer

Executive Committee


Board of Directors
S. R. BERTRON Bertron, Griscom & Co
HUGH L. COOPER Hugh L. Cooper & Co., Inc
PERCIVAL FARQUHAR Railroads and Industrie
LAMAR L. FLEMING Anderson, Clayton & Fleming
ALEX. GUMBERG Atlas Utilities & Investors Co., Dir.
W. A. HARRIMAN W. A. Harriman & Co.
GEORGE H. HOWARD Simpson, Thacher & Bartleti
H. ARNOLD JACKSON Chicago Pneumatic T00l Co., Pres,
W. H. LABOYTEAUX Johnson & Higgins Co., Pres.
GEORGE LEBLANC The Equitable Trust Co., V. P.
CHARLES M. MUCH NIc. American Locomotive Sales Corp, V. P.
EDGERTON PARSONS Marsh & McLennan, Inc., V. P.
J. H. RAND, JR Remington Rand Co., Inc., Pres.
REEVE SCHLEY Chase National Bank, V. P.
ALLEN WARDWELL Davis, Polk, Wardwell, Gardiner & Reed
H. H. WESTINGHOUSE, Westinghouse Air Brake Co., Chairman of Board
G. P. WHALEY Vacuum Oil Co., Pres.
W. H. WOODEN American Car & Foundry Co., Pres.

HANNAH PICKERING, Executive Secretary

New York Office
Tel. Bowling Green 10144

Moscow Office
Telephone 3-96-09

American Section of Soviet Trade Body

An American section of the All-Union-Western Chamber of Commerce was organized in Moscow in July, 1928. The section conducts activities to facilitate the establishment of closer relations between the interested business spheres of both countries, and collaborates to this end with the AmericanRussian Chamber of Commerce.

The executive bureau of the American section is composed of the following: Charles H. Smith, vice-president and Moscow representative of the American-Russian Chamber of Commerce; Mr. Fushman of the Textile Import Company; Mr. Poliakov of the Amtorg Trading Corporation; Mr. A. A. Yazikov of the Central Statistical Board, formerly Chairman of the Special Delegation of the Far Eastern Republic in Washington (1921-22); Mr. Friedman of the Chief Administration of the Electrical Industry; Professor Bookspan, Director of the Economic Department of the Chamber; Professor Klinchnikov, and Mr. Pavlov of the Grain Export Company (Exportkhleb). Mr. Perrotet was elected secretary.

American-Soviet Agreements

A number of important agreements concluded during 1928 between American manufacturing and technical organizations and various Soviet trusts marked progressive steps in the growing industrial relations between the two countries.

The most important agreement was that between the International General Electric Company of New York and the Amtorg Trading Corporation. This provides for long-term credit purchases of electrical equipment for an aggregate sum of from $21,000,000 to $26,000,000 over a period of six years. In connection with the contract General Electric is to establish a bureau of technicians in Moscow to maintain first-hand contacts with Soviet electrical problems.

Another agreement, signed between the Radio Corporation of America and the Soviet State Electrotechnical Trust, provides for exchange of patents and information on radio apparatus and for technical assistance from the Radio Corporation.

Other contracts for technical assistance were made during the year with the Sperry Gyroscope Company, and with Professor H. D. Gibbs, who will assist in the development of the aniline industry. Technical assistance contracts with Hugh L. Cooper and Co. of New York, with Stuart, James and Cooke of New York and with the Freyn Engineering Company of Chicago were extended during 1928. The Owens Bottle Company and the Russian-American Compressed Gas Company have contracts for consulting services, and the Standard Oil Company of New York, under a concession agreement, completed a kerosene treating plant in Baku early in 1928.

In the spring of 1928 it was announced that various contracts with the Standard Oil Company of New York and the Vacuum Oil Company provided for the purchase by these companies of Soviet oil products aggregating $10,000,000 annually.

(1) Including grain and flour valued at $21,500,000 purchased as a result of the poor harvest of 1924 in the Soviet Union.