The chief spokesman for the West German government yesterday acknowledged that the United States "is not happy" with the progress of trade negotiations in Geneva and promissed that Germany would do what it could do prevent the Bonn summit from failing.
He made the statement in a briefing for reporters during the first session of the European heads of state council which began here yesterday.
Chief U.S. trade negotiator Robert S. Strauss had said Wednesday in Washington that there is "pittle, if any chance" that a full agreement on the main political issues involved in the multilateral trade talks in Geneva would be ready by a July 15 deadline the negotiators had set.
The Europeans are not sure whether to take Strauss sombre note as a typical bargaining tactic or something more. But the German spokesman seemed to treat it seriously.
He added that the German delegation at Geneva had been urging the rest of Common Market members to make some of the concessions on agriculture that the U.S. has been demanding. "We will press for maximum anti-protectionist attitude," he said.
Strauss and Treasury Secretary W. Michael Blumenthal have been trying to make clear for some time that the U.S. considers Europe to be protectionist on agriculture, and this appears to be the area where negotiations have bogged down.
In the give-and-take at Geneva, Strauss and his deputies have argued that neither Japan nor the European community are giving American farm products adequate access to their markets.
Deputy Special Trade Negotiator Alan Wolff said last week that along with the subsidies other countries grant their manufacturers, "agriculture is the most contentious issue."
Wolff warned, "we won't have an (MTN munilateral trade negotiations) without discipline on subsidies and progress on agriculture.
Manwhile, the Europeans plan to cover the whole gamut of economic questions including growth, employment, protectionism, and currency problems in the talks here. The clue to the lack of precise agreement on how they want to achieve closer monetary union among "themselves is that "informal," rather than formal.
There are some signs that European countries here than Europe and Germany, particularly the smaller ones feel somewhat ignored by the private discussions West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt and French President Valery Giscard D'Estaing have been having on monetary unity.
The European heads of state are trying to line up common positions for the Bonn meeting, and to agree - if they can - on some new approach to monetary unity among themselves.