The US-USSR Grain Agreement

Case Solution

Roger Porter
Harvard Kennedy School ()

In July 1975, senior White House economic officials in the Ford administration received information that in the face of a disappointing grain harvest, the Soviet Union could attempt to purchase large quantities of wheat and corn from American suppliers. This case is an inside account of the clash of economic and political considerations that arise when Cold War-era officials are faced with the decision to stop selling grain to the Soviets. In particular, the case addresses the question of whether the government should try to link grain exports, which possibly have a humanitarian dimension and are very popular with agrarian voters, with broader political and diplomatic goals. In other words: should food be used as a diplomatic lever? Officials like Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Labor Secretary John Dunlop, and Agriculture Secretary Earl Butz, as well as members of the Council of Economic Advisers, have to sell a number of internal affairs, as well as the potential impact of a grain. big. . This case is based in part on the USSR Grain Agreement (Roger Porter, Cambridge University Press, 1984) and is a snapshot of the information gathering and decision-making processes at the highest level of the United States government. Case number HKS 1449.0

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