EAST-WEST TRADE: Great Leap Forward

Early this year, U.S. Department of Commerce experts predicted that some three years would pass before trade between the U.S. and China reached $300 million a year. But Sino-American trade has already taken a great leap forward.

This year it will probably exceed $800 million, up from $92 million in 1972. In only three years, the U.S. has become China's second most important international trading partner, after Japan.

So far, the new link is proving to be a bonanza for U.S. firms; the Chinese import nearly 15 times as much from the U.S. as they export. Among the biggest ticket items...

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