The US has traditionally viewed East-West economic relations as essentially political, disproportionately beneficial to the Soviet Union and morally questionable. Although East-West economic relations remain primarily an East-West issue, they have become more of a West-West problem. East-West trade -- while economically only of limited significance for any Western economy -- has been elevated to an issue of transatlantic political controversy totally disproportionate to its economic value. Europeans view East-West commercial ties as a normal, desirable element in their relations with Comecon countries, for both politcal and economic reasons. One reason why the US and its allies are in conflict over East-West trade is because the US has a narrower definition of what contributes to national security and a broader definition of what threatens it than do the Europeans. The Europeans have always had more limited, regional expectations of detente.