Eastern Europe's Reliance on Western Technology

by Steven W. Popper

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This paper, a summary of R-3632, is concerned with studies of imports of particular categories of Western technology by countries within the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA). It also considers how import levels reflect the general trends of Eastern European dependence on the West. The ability of the United States to effect policy changes by the embargo of technology is shown to be inhibited — statistical evidence indicates that U.S. exports account for tiny percentages of CMEA imports. The author suggests that since the flow of technology out of the West cannot be stopped, carefully managed trading of high-technology goods might be a valuable means of serving policy goals in Eastern Europe.

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