Foreign Ministers of the nine European Common Market countries have agreed to initial a new world trade agreement, some with reluctance.
SCU EEC President, Roy Jenkins speaking
JENKINS: "The Tokyo Round is the biggest and most ambitious of all the post-war trade negotiations and has had to be conducted in fairly difficult economic circumstances. More difficult indeed than we foresaw when we set out on this particular road. It comprises a major reduction in industrial tariffs, a substantial agricultural settlement, and a major strengthening of the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade), the rule of law in world trade, by a whole series of new non-tariff barrier codes governing areas of real importance for the Community, for businessmen in the Community, and involving issues such as standards, customs collations, government purchases and countervailing duties. With the decision we came to in Luxembourg last night we have the real chance of a fairer, and more free world trading system in the nineteen-eighties. And at least equally significant the avoidance of a wave of protectionism, leading the world, I believe, into recession which would certainly have come if these negotiations had failed."
The Toyko Round talks, designed to improve free flow of world trade, have taken more than four years.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Foreign Ministers of the nine European Common Market countries have agreed to initial a new world trade agreement, some with reluctance. At a meeting in Luxembourg on Wednesday (4 April) representatives for Britain, France and Italy expressed doubts about concessions so far wrung from Japan and the united States in the ninety-five nations trade talks, known as the Tokyo Round. The initialling of agreements in Geneva next week by the world's leading trade nations opens the way for a final agreement, planned for October. The President of the Common Market Commission, Mr. Roy Jenkins, says the agreement means a chance for a fairer and freer world trade system.