American officials said yesterday that talks with Japanese trade officials on proposals for reduced tariffs on a wide range of agricultural products were "disappointing." The assessment came after second of three days of scheduled talks.
At a late hour yesterday, the touchiest questions of all - beef and citrus quotas - had not yet been taken up.
Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary W. Michael Blumenthal met with newly-appointed Japanese Vice Minister of Finance Takehiro Sagami to discuss a new Japanese stimulus program of roughly 25 trillion yen, or $13 billion.
A Treasury statement said that Blumenthal reviewed for Sagami the dollar-bolstering plan announced last month by President Carter, "and indicated his expectation that the U.S. would be announcing further action as decisions are reached to deal this situation."
The discussions on agricultural products are being conducted by the Office of Special Trade Representative Robert S. Strauss, with a Japanese delegation led by Japanese Special trade envoy Nobuhiko Ushiba and Japanese Agriculture Minister Ichiro Nakagawa.
During the first day's meeting and yesterday morning, the two sides discussed U.S. demands for lower tariffs on pork, chicken, poultry, wine, raisins, olives, and other products.
The talks were scheduled to move late yesterday afternoon and evening to beef and orange quotas, which now are respectively, 90,000 tons and 45,000 tons annually. The U.S. position is that the quotas should be abandoned entirely, but U.S. officials do not expect that to happen. A lesser goal set by Strauss is a doubling of the quotas, but the Japanese delegation is strongly resisting that proposal.
Vice Minister Sagami recently succeeded Michiya Matsukawa, who was appointed special adviser on international financial affairs to Prime Minister Fukuda. Sagami plans to go on to a Group of Ten deputies meeting in Paris on Friday.