203. Paper Prepared in the Office of the Special Representative for Trade Negotiations1

Trade Negotiations Committee Status

Since the Tokyo meeting there has been one meeting of the Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC). At this meeting in October, no agreement [Page 733] was reached on the structure of the working bodies, or their mandates, and it was therefore impossible to proceed with substantive work.2

The failure to reach agreement was based upon the European Community’s refusal to proceed without agreement by the U.S. that there be a single, separate body to deal with all agricultural matters. This EC position was in turn based upon an 8 to 1 internal position, with France being rigid and the other eight EC members somewhat flexible.

In this context Director-General Long 3 proposed that we begin work with the TNC meeting as a committee of the whole, at the technical level, and proceed with analysis of the issues outlined in the Tokyo Ministerial Declaration,4 with special reference to the specific issues outlined in paragraph 3. All countries, including the U.S., supported this approach but the EC refused to go along.

The matter was raised by Secretary Shultz and others when Sir Christopher Soames visited Washington at the beginning of November.5 Nonetheless, the impasse remains. There has been a little progress. Mr. Brungart 6 of the STR Office has had several conversations with Mr. Hijzen 7 of the EC Commission to resolve the question. It has been agreed that an agenda be worked out for six months’ work; that the TNC prepare a report in June 1974 of where things stand, and that the EC might make a statement of some kind for the record that would cover its position, but would offer the U.S. and others assurances that agriculture would not be treated as self-balancing in the overall negotiation, but instead commit the EC to the view that agricultural changes in the MTN would be weighed in the context of overall results.

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This U.S.–Hijzen formulation was discussed by the EC Committee 1138 on Wednesday, December 12. The vote was again 8 to 1, and the French made it clear that their opposition was related to “other political matters” as well as to agricultural trade considerations.

The 113 Committee will meet again on Friday, December 21, to attempt to resolve the issues. The U.S. in the meantime is encouraging the calling of a TNC meeting in mid-January.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 429, Records of the Council on International Economic Policy, 1971–1977, Box 251, Records of Executive Committee Meetings, 1973–1974, 53179 PMF Executive Committee Meeting of CIEP on December 21, 1973 in Roosevelt Rm 12/13/73. No classification marking. It was sent under cover of a December 13 memorandum from Flanigan to the Secretaries of State, the Treasury, Agriculture, and Commerce, the OMB Director, the CEA Chairman, the Special Representative for Trade Negotiations, and the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs, outlining the agenda for a December 21 meeting of the CIEP Executive Committee.
  2. In telegram 5700 from the Mission in Geneva, October 27, the Mission reported that “TNC unable to reach agreement to begin preparatory work for MTN owing to EC insistence that rigid, permanent separation of industrial and agricultural issues be made now and for all time. Meeting adjourned with EC isolated on this issue with all other dels ready to proceed, and with agreement that TNC Chairman Long will now begin consultations with delegations to seek resolve deadlock.” (Ibid., RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files)
  3. Olivier Long was the GATT Director-General and the Chairman of the Trade Negotiating Committee.
  4. See Document 185 and footnote 8 thereto.
  5. Soames visited the United States from October 28 to November 1 to meet with U.S. officials and members of Congress, as well as address the EC Chamber of Commerce in New York. (Telegram 211831 to USEC Brussels, October 26; National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files) While in Washington, Soames also led an EC delegation in periodic consultations with U.S. officials; a report on the October 29–31 U.S.–EC talks is in telegram 217448 to USEC Brussels, the Mission in Geneva, and all OECD capitals, November 3. (Ibid.)
  6. Robert Brungart.
  7. Theodorus Hijzen.
  8. The 113 Committee consisted of EC member state representatives who advised the Community on trade negotiations.