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P.M. Briefing : EC Questions U.S. Trade Sincerity

From Times Wire Services

The European Community said today the United States’ latest move to boost subsidies for farm exports suggests Washington is not committed to serious reforms.

The EC-U.S. deadlock over agriculture is the biggest obstacle to success in the Uruguay Round of talks to liberalize world trade, which resume at ministerial level next month after a stalemate in Montreal in December.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Clayton K. Yeutter Tuesday asked Congress to remove the ceiling on how much the United States can spend on subsidies under its Export Enhancement Program to strengthen Washington’s hand in the talks, held under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

"(Yeutter’s remarks) are not helpful to the development of a cordial and friendly atmosphere in these negotiations, so essential to the interests of U.S. and European Community agriculture,” EC Agriculture Commissioner Ray MacSharry said today.

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