251. Telegram From the Mission to the European Office of the United Nations to the Department of State1

Tagg 2355. For Herter from Blumenthal. References: Tagg 2354, 2356, 2357.2 Following text tabled by US 7:00 p.m. October 9:

Begin text.

Rules for Negotiations on Agricultural Products

In accordance with the principles and procedures established by Ministers in May 19633 the negotiations regarding agricultural products shall be conducted as follows:

1. Bulk commodities: cereals, meats, dairy products, and sugar.

Negotiations shall be directed toward the establishment of special arrangements for those specific products the inclusion of which is agreed to in the respective commodity groups. These negotiations shall cover those elements identified by each group as relevant to its negotiations. [Page 663] The cereals and meats groups have already identified these elements, and an early meeting of the dairy products groups should be held for the same purpose. A group shall be established to study the most appropriate basis for negotiations regarding sugar.

2. Other products subject to special import regimes or special policy measures.

A participating Contracting Party maintaining a form of protection or support other than a fixed tariff which adversely affects competitive conditions of trade in an agricultural product, shall make offers which substantially reduce such effects. In the case of variable levies the offers for reductions and binding may be in accordance with the techniques defined by the European Economic Community.

3. Fixed tariff items.

Where fixed tariffs are used, separately or in combination with other measures of protection, the Contracting Party shall make substantial offers of reductions and bindings in such tariffs. In case of zero duties not already bound, the offers shall be to bind the zero duty.

If in addition to fixed tariffs a Contracting Party also maintains other measures for protection or support that adversely affect competitive conditions of trade in a particular product, it shall make offers which substantially reduce such effects.

4. Any agricultural product not included in the negotiations in special commodity groups for which a Contracting Party is unable to make a significant offer in accordance with the above rules must appear on that country’s exceptions list for agricultural products.

As in other phases of the negotiations exceptions shall be limited to items justified on the basis of overriding national interest.

5. Nothing in these negotiating rules shall be construed so as to lead to the modification or withdrawal of existing concessions, or to bring about a situation less favorable to an exporting country than that existing as a consequence of previous negotiations. In accordance with the overall objective of the negotiations, offers with respect to products already subject to commitments under the General Agreement shall be directed towards the reduction of the level of protection thus bound.

6. The negotiations regarding agricultural products including negotiations in special commodity groups shall proceed concurrently with other phases of the negotiations in the Kennedy Round, the objective being that the results in the agricultural phase shall be available to all participants in assessing the balance of advantages and disadvantages.

7. Agricultural offers and exceptions shall be tabled on (blank) (date to be determined).

End text.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, FT 7 GATT. Limited Official Use; Priority. Repeated to Bonn, Brussels for USEC, The Hague, Luxembourg for USEC, Paris for USRO, Rome, and London. Passed to the White House for Herter on October 11.
  2. Tagg 2354 and 2356 are both dated October 10. (Ibid.) Tagg 2357 is Document 252.
  3. See footnote 2, Document 228.