TRADE: Campaign Fodder

Scarcely two months ago, the Nixon Administration proudly announced an agreement under which the U.S. would sell at least $750 million worth of American wheat, corn and other grains to the Soviet Union in the next three years. The deal, described as the biggest grain transaction between two nations in history, was hailed by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz as "a major advance for American agriculture." Last week the agreement was well on its way to becoming a major Democratic campaign issue—especially in the farm states—and Administration officials had ample reason to eat their words.

Throughout several weeks of negotiations,...

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