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July/August 1994, 
Vol. 76, No. 4
Posted 1994-07-01

Trade Between the United States and Eastern Europe

by Patricia S. Pollard

Most of the trade between the United States and Eastern Europe since the end of World War II has been very small. While the United States has maintained high tariffs on imports from most Eastern European countries—and restricted its own exports to them as well, particularly high technology—Eastern Europe has maintained trade restrictions on imports from the United States. With the collapse of the Soviet system, however, Eastern Europe has begun to re-direct trade to the West as it initiates both political and economic reforms. Patricia S. Pollard describes the recent changes in trade flows between the United States and the three Eastern European countries that have made the greatest progress in adopting market reforms: the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic (CSFR), Hungary and Poland. She concludes that increased trade between the East and the West benefits not only the United States’ economy, but is also directly linked to Eastern Europe’s efforts to establish and maintain political stability.