WASHINGTON — In another sign of a warming trend in U.S.-Soviet relations, Commerce Secretary Malcolm Baldrige will visit Moscow for the first high-level meeting on trade between the two superpowers since 1978, the Commerce Department said.
Baldrige will join Soviet Foreign Trade Minister Nikolai Patolichev in a meeting May 20-21 of the U.S.-USSR Joint Commercial Commission, Commerce Department spokesman B.J. Cooper said.
Last Met in 1978
The commission last met in December, 1978. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan the next year prompted then-President Jimmy Carter to order a drastic cutback in high-level contacts with the Kremlin.
"This is the first Cabinet-level meeting on trade in seven years," Cooper said in announcing the May meeting.
President Reagan has invited the new Soviet leader, Mikhail S. Gorbachev, to come to the United States for a summit meeting.
Following a meeting with Gorbachev in Moscow, Secretary of State George P. Shultz said last week that the Administration wants to "proceed with a sense of realism" in dealing with the Soviets.