Poland, EC Agree to Lift Curbs on Trade : U.S. Also to Give Favored Status to Polish Exports
Poland and the European Community signed an agreement Tuesday aimed at helping to revive the Polish economy through exports to the West, and Commerce Secretary Robert A. Mosbacher said measures to stimulate U.S. trade with Poland will be implemented soon.
Mosbacher, leading a business mission to Warsaw organized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said he would work to promote trade between Poland and private U.S. concerns.
Mosbacher, who flew to Moscow after a similar visit to Hungary, also said Poland will soon be granted Generalized System of Preference treatment for exports to the United States.
“This means no import duty on exports from Poland on more than 4,100 items,” he said.
The EC agreement with Poland lifts import and customs limitations on Polish goods until 1994.
It was signed by Foreign Minister Krzysztof Skubiszewski and Foreign Trade Minister Marcin Swiecicki on the Polish side and the EC chairman, French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas, and Frans Andriessen, EC vice president in charge of foreign relations.
Dumas said he would seek rapid ratification in the European and French parliaments.
Andriessen hailed the agreement as “the formal confirmation of the new relations between Poland and the EC.”
“I am sure it will help Poland to restructure its economy,” he said.
Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki, who heads Poland’s new Solidarity-led coalition government, was at the Council of Ministers building for the signing ceremony.
The EC agreement is seen in Poland as a response to Solidarity leader Lech Walesa’s call on the West for aid to revive the faltering Polish economy, in its worst crisis since World War II.
The Solidarity newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza welcomed the agreement and Mosbacher’s visit as expressions of better international understanding of Polish economic problems.
“The world has begun to understand that the permanent changes in Poland have been in the interest of everybody,” the paper said.
Poland is a member of COMECON, the East Bloc equivalent of the EC, and experts said the agreement with the EC was the first step by Poland to be more closely linked with the Western market.