EU, China Set New WTO Talks

April 27, 2000

The on-again, off-again negotiations between the European Community and China over the terms of a trade agreement, which could lead to China’s joining the WTO, are now set to resume beginning May 15. The European delegation will again be headed by Pascal Lamy, who left the talks last March when no breakthrough was achieved, and returned to Brussels to confer with EU Ministers.

Both sides indicated after that failure, that they would try to be more flexible the next time they met. Although the EU has endorsed the terms of the accord reached last November between China and the U.S., it maintains that about 20 percent more needs to be negotiated before Europe will conclude its own agreement with China. The principle outstanding issues remain, agricultural tariffs, and the access and ownership of telecommunications and insurance ventures.

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