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GATT to Include Agriculture, Services in Talks

September 20, 1986|Associated Press

PUNTA DEL ESTE, Uruguay — Negotiators working on an agenda for a new round of global trade talks reached tentative agreement Friday night on two key issues--farm subsidies and services such as banking and communications.

Both agreements still require approval by a general session of the 74 trade delegations present. But officials said they saw no problems and said the breakthrough paves the way for the launching of new talks by the 92-member General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, or GATT.

No details were immediately available on either accord.

Still to be resolved were U.S. demands that the trade talks also develop an international copyright and patent code and fix rules on foreign investment. Officials said they expected that these issues would now be settled quickly.

The United States had said it would not participate in new trade talks unless the four issues--agricultural subsidies, services, foreign investment and protection against copyright piracy--were on the agenda.

Conference sources said the compromise on farm subsidies was hammered out by U.S. negotiator Clayton K. Yeutter, Willy de Clercq, leader of the 12-member European Community delegation, and Australian trade Minister John Dawkins, who represents 14 agricultural exporting nations.

The United States and Australia pushed for including negotiations on reducing farm export subsidies in the new GATT talks. They argued that European subsidies, particularly those by France, make it harder for their farmers to compete in world markets.

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