Finance ministers at key world trade negotiations resumed talks Tuesday on a controversial, U.S.-supported proposal to eliminate agricultural subsidies.
A senior trade negotiator for the European Community said late Monday the United States is winning strong support for the plan to eliminate agricultural subsidies, an issue dividing the United States and the EC.Officials also are expected to deal with other contentious issues such as intellectual property rights, including increased protection for copyrights, on the second day of the three-day meeting to negotiate changes in the compact governing world trade, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).
The crucial midterm review of the so-called Uruguay Round of trade liberalizing negotiations has been deadlocked on the fundamental question of whether agricultural subsidies should be eliminated by the year 2000 as the United States wants or frozen at their current levels and gradually reduced as the EC has proposed.
"We have heard a variety of views on the issue. Some delegations support very strongly the point of view of the United States," said Frans Andriessen, the EC's agricultural negotiator, after emerging from a three-hour meeting on agricultural subsidies.