EC Leader Still Optimistic About Trade Agreement

From Reuters

The European Community's minister of external affairs, Frans Andriessen, said Wednesday that he remained optimistic about resolving U.S.-EC differences that have been blocking efforts to reform the global trading system.

He made the remarks before going into talks with senior U.S. officials expected to center on how fast and how far to reduce state subsidies to farmers.

Andriessen met with Secretary of State James A. Baker III, Agriculture Secretary Edward Madigan and Trade Representative Carla Anderson Hills.

"I've always been optimistic, so there is no reason to be more optimistic. I'm still optimistic," Andriessen told reporters as he entered a meeting at Blair House, the official government guest house.

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