230. Memorandum From the Special Representative for Trade Negotiations (Dent) to the Executive Committee of the Economic Policy Board 1
- Agricultural Stalemate in the MTN
Over seventy countries met during the last week in March to organize the work of the MTN Agriculture Group. The U.S. and the EC reached a deadlock on how to proceed, and the meeting was recessed until April 15. In itself, the recess is not damaging, but reconvening in the absence of reaching a compromise would prevent work from taking place in the MTN on agriculture, would continue the deadlock on the wheat reserve talks in London, and may cause the EC to delay other work moving forward in the MTN.
New EPB guidance is needed to enable a practical solution to be worked out with the EC.
Attached are an options paper on the issues raised as well as background materials.2
I would hope that these questions can be resolved on Monday, April 7, so that there is enough time to work with the EC on these questions before the April 15 Agriculture Group meeting.
- Source: Ford Library, L. William Seidman Papers, Box 38, Economic Policy Board Subject File, Agriculture—Multinational Trade Negotiations. No classification marking. Sent through Seidman. Neither Dent nor Seidman signed the memorandum.↩
- The background materials, which are attached but not printed, consist of the following: telegram 2082 from USDel MTN Geneva, March 25; telegram 2167 from USDel MTN Geneva, March 27; telegram 902 from the Mission in Geneva, February 12; telegram 32200 to the Mission in Geneva, February 12; telegram 43473 from London, March 20; telegram 2409 from USEC Brussels, March 19; telegram 1862 from USEC Brussels, March 4; the September 14, 1973, GATT Ministerial Tokyo Declaration; telegram 972 from the Mission in Geneva, February 13; and the February 14 proposals by the Chairman of the GATT Trade Negotiating Committee. Telegram 902 is Document 227; telegram 32200 is Document 228; telegram 972 is Document 229; for the Tokyo Declaration, see footnote 8, Document 185.↩
- A background paper is attached which explores in greater detail the substantive interests which underlie these procedural issues. [Footnote is in the original. The “Background Paper on the Current Impasse on Agricultural Questions in the MTN” is attached but not printed.]↩
- The World Food Conference convened in Rome November 5–16, 1974.↩
- If this were acceptable, we could push further to develop an explicit understanding that from time to time the Agriculture Group might meet with the Nontariff Measures Groups to review work progress and provide amplification of those characteristics and problems peculiar to aspects of agriculture. [Footnote is in the original.]↩
- This could involve (1) an interim agreement involving reserves at an early stage in the negotiations, prior to final negotiation of all issues involving grains; (2) continued IWC involvement in London and/or Geneva; and (3) formation of an MTN grains group now, with an understanding that this would not prejudice reaching an early agreement involving reserves. [Footnote is in the original.]↩