P.M. BRIEFING : U.S., Soviets Open Trade Talks

From Times Wire Services

U.S.-Soviet talks on a new long-term grain pact began today with U.S. officials saying several sessions are likely before a pact is forged, but that the talks were infused with goodwill from the Malta summit.

"We didn't come with the expectation that we're going to reach agreement this week," said Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Julius Katz, head U.S. negotiator. "This is really an initiation of the process," he said.

The current grain trade pact, first signed in 1983 and extended a year ago after nine months of fruitless negotiations, expires in December, 1990. Major issues in those negotiations included minimum purchase levels and Soviet eligibility for U.S. crop export subsidies.

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