WASHINGTON (May. 22)
A U.S.-Soviet commercial commission recommended at the end of a two-day meeting here today that both countries conclude a long term agreement to facilitate economic, industrial and technical cooperation. Secretary of Commerce Frederick Dent who attended the meeting, said the agreement would not need Senate ratification and expressed hope the pact would be signed during President Nixon’s visit to Moscow next month. The trade authorities predicted that U.S.-Soviet trade would again exceed $1 billion this year.
Congress has refused to ratify the Trade Reform Act unless it contains provisions linking Soviet emigration policies with tariff privileges and trade credits for the USSR. The Mills-Vanik bill embodying that provision was overwhelmingly passed by the House earlier this year. The identical Jackson Amendment is supported by a substantial majority in the Senate. Treasury Secretary William Simon, who chaired the U.S.-Soviet trade meeting, said the Administration was determined to have a trade bill approved this year.
The Export-Import Bank meanwhile granted a $180 million loan to the Soviet Union yesterday to help finance a fertilizer plant. The loan is the largest Ex-Im Bank has ever granted to the Soviet Union.