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Many US businessmen are writing off the Soviet Union as a trading partner for the duration of the Reagan administration. The value of American exports to the USSR dropped from $3.6 billion in 1979 to $1.5 billion last year -- the result of Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. Threat of a similar move into Poland has kept the trade door shut.

Now heightened tensions between Washington and Moscow over El Salvador add to the problem for farm commodity traders as well as exporters of computers, natural gas pipeline equipment, and drill bits.

Will the Russians return to the American marketplace even if invited? Best guess is that they will, if only because no other country can supply the quantities of gra in or leading-edge energy technology that the US can.m

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