EAST-WEST TRADE: Moscow Wants a Deal

AS U.S. Agriculture Secretary Earl Butz left Moscow last week after an unprecedented 90-minute talk with Soviet Party Leader Leonid Brezhnev, he characterized the conversation as "warm, frank and friendly." For once those diplomatic clichés seemed apt. With President Nixon's visit scarcely a month away, Brezhnev, who never before has talked so long with an American official, was making a major gesture of cordiality toward the U.S. He also was emphasizing Moscow's desire for a big increase in trade with the U.S.—a desire that Washington shares.

Butz later predicted that the Soviets might buy as much as $200 million worth of...

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