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
||Exports to U. S.
||Imports from U. S.
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
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:
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:
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
|Of this, in
|Quebracho in Argentine
|Of this, in
|Iodine: In Chile
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
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
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:
REEVE SCHLEY President
ALLEN WARDWELL Vice-President
CHARLES H. SMITH VicePresident
GEORGE H. HOWARD Secretary and Treasurer
S. R. BERTRON
GEORGE H. HOWARD
LAMAR L. FLEMING
CHARLES M. MucHNIc
Board of Directors
|S. R. BERTRON
||Bertron, Griscom & Co
|HUGH L. COOPER
||Hugh L. Cooper & Co., Inc
||Railroads and Industrie
|LAMAR L. FLEMING
||Anderson, Clayton & Fleming
|JAMES P. G00DRICH
||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.
||The Equitable Trust Co., V. P.
|CHARLES M. MUCH NIc.
||American Locomotive Sales Corp, V. P.
||Marsh & McLennan, Inc., V. P.
|J. H. RAND, JR
||Remington Rand Co., Inc., Pres.
||Chase National Bank, V. P.
||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
SPASO PE5KOVSKY, 10
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
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.
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
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
Including grain and flour valued at $21,500,000 purchased as a result of the
poor harvest of 1924 in the Soviet Union.