In Brief : EEC Ministers OK Stiff Duties

From Times wire services

European foreign ministers today agreed to impose stiff duties on some U.S. imports but delayed implementing the sanctions to give both sides time to resolve a transatlantic trade dispute.

The 12-nation European Economic Community will levy the tariffs if there is no move to ease the conflict by mid-February, Spanish Foreign Minister Francisco Fernandez Ordonez warned. “We hope the new North American administration will adopt a more intelligent attitude.”

The U.S. Mission to the EEC said in a statement: “We want to make every effort to first contain and then resolve this dispute, and this decision . . . is clearly a positive step in that direction.”

But the U.S. officials also said they are “very concerned” about the ministers’ decision to approve a list of products that “could eventually be the target of . . . counter-retaliation.”


The dispute was touched off by the EEC decision to impose a Jan. 1 ban on U.S. meat from cattle treated with growth hormones. The United States retaliated with higher tariffs on a variety of products from the trading bloc.