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The Uruguay Round and the Maastricht Referendum



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No. Date:

MT77 21 September 1992

THE URUGUAY ROUND AND THE MAASTRICHT REFERENDUM

The Minister for Trade and Overseas Development, John Kerin, today called on the EC and the US to re-focus their attention squarely on the GATT Uruguay Round negotiations.

"The success of the referendum in France on the Maastricht Tretay has cleared the way for the EC and the US to intensify their efforts in the small window of opportunity available before the US Presidential election to achieve the breakthrough necessary to bring the GATT Uruguay Round to a successful conclusion," Mr Kerin said.

"The challenge for, and the responsibility of, the EC and the US is to demonstrate the political will necessary to bring the negotiations to a successful conclusion.

"It is vital that no further time be lost," Mr Kerin said.

Mr Kerin called on the EC and the US to resolve their remaining differences and to close the remaining gaps in the agriculture negotiations.

"It was clear at the time of the Munich Summit in July that the issues dividing the US and the EC over the agriculture negotiations were not extensive," Mr Kerin said.

"Also in the last few days we have heard President Bush and Prime Minister Major, as leader of the current EC presidency country, express again their commitment to completing the Uruguay Round.

"In my discussions in Washington today and in Europe later this week I will be reminding the US and the EC that we need to make urgent progress now if we are to meet the US fast track negotiating mandate deadline.

"Failure to bring the Uruguay Round negotiations to a successful conclusion would be very serious for trade growth and economic recovery in developed and developing countries alike."

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