Amtorg Trading Corporation

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Amtorg Trading Corporation, also known simply as Amtorg (short for Amerikanskoe Torgovlye, American Trading), was the first Soviet trade representation in the United States when Armand Hammer established it in New York in 1924 through the amalgamation of the American firms Products Exchange Corporation (1919) and Arcos-America Inc (1923).[1] The latter was the US office of All Russian Co-operative Society (ARCOS). Amtorg served Soviet import and export firms seeking to conduct foreign trade in the US throughout the Communist era. Not only was it used extensively by the Soviets for industrial espionage of Ford and many other firms according to an insider,[2] it also served as a front for GRU and OGPU (Soviet intelligence) operations in the US.[3][4] This was especially important in the early years, before Franklin D. Roosevelt recognized the Soviets in 1933, allowing them a permanent embassy in Washington, D.C.[5][6] It continued to handle most Soviet-America trade until 1935. As of 2000 it still exists.[7]

As an arm of the Soviet state, Amtorg was targeted in two bombing attempts, in 1971 and again in 1976, by domestic terrorists calling themselves the "Jewish Armed Resistance."[8]


  1. ^ Borth, Christy. Masters of Mass Production, p. 110, Bobbs-Merrill Company, Indianapolis, IN, 1945.
  2. ^ Zelchenko, Henry L. (Feb 1952). "Stealing America's Know-How: The Story of Amtorg". American Mercury 74 (338): 75–84. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  3. ^ Verdon, Rachel (2007). Murder By Madness 9/11. Rachel Verdon. p. 85. ISBN 978-1-4196-8022-9. Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  4. ^ Shannon, Elaine; Ann Blackman (2002). The spy next door (illustrated ed.). Little, Brown and Company. p. 81. ISBN 978-0-316-71821-9. Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  5. ^ Ropes, E. C., American-Soviet Trade Relations, Russian Review, Vol. 3, No. 1 (Autumn 1943), p. 91
  6. ^ Rafalko, Frank J., A Counterintelligence Reader, Vol. III, Chapter 1, pp. 21-22
  7. ^
  8. ^

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