Archive (Reagan Library)

Cold War: Reagan to Gorbachev (trade) [declassified 2000]

Document type: Declassified documents
Venue: White House
Source: Reagan Library (Head of State File)
Editorial comments:
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 413 words
Themes: Defence (arms control), Foreign policy (USA), Foreign policy (USSR & successor states)


May 11, 1985

Dear Mr Secretary General:

Secretary Baldrige's visit to Moscow provides me the opportunity to repeat to you my desire for a more constructive working relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union. An expansion of peaceful trade can and should be an important part of an improved relationship between our countries.

I place great significance on the discussions between Secretary Baldrige and Minister Patolichev in Moscow. They are holding the first meeting of our Joint Commercial Commission in seven years, and their meeting reflects the judgment of both our governments that an expansion of our peaceful trade is now appropriate. It is my hope that their achievements will result not only in increased trade, but also in an increased desire to seek greater cooperation in areas other than trade.

I have asked Secretary Baldrige to have pragmatic discussions with Minister Patolichev, so that the meeting of our Joint Commercial Commission will result in concrete actions by both sides to expand trade where that is now possible. To leave no doubt that the United States favors the expansion of peaceful trade with the Soviet Union, I have also authorized Secretary Baldrige to join with Minister Patolichev in a public statement on the development of trade relations.

While I believe there are some actions we can take now to facilitate trade, I doubt that there can be a fundamental change in our trade relationship [end p1] without parallel improvements in other aspects of our relationship. I have mentioned in my previous letters some of the areas in which improvements would contribute greatly to a climate in which a more complete development of trade and economic cooperation would be possible.

It is my hope that upon his return from Moscow Secretary Baldrige will be able to report to me that there are areas in which both our countries can benefit from commercial cooperation and that there is Soviet interest in parallel improvements in other parts of our relationship. Given such progress, I believe that the development of our trade relationship is a question in which you and I could usefully take a continuing personal interest. I will welcome any suggestions you may have in this regard.


Ronald Reagan

His Excellency
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev
General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
The Kremlin