Japanese and American officials warned yesterday that a Congressional effort to remove textiles from the multilateral trade negotiations (MTN) prejudicies the signing of the entire treaty.
Hiromichi Miyazaki, Japanese deputy foreign minister, told a press conference that the textile exclusion "might have a chain reaction which could become unmanageable." If texiff discussions, he said, "why should not Japan exempt meat and others say (they will exempt) something else?"
Miyazki's warning came at the end of two days of meetings with U.S. officials on economic issue.
Miyazaki was reacting to a Senate vote last Friday prohibiting American negotiators from offering tariff concessions on textiles during the MTN negotiations now moving toward a conclusion in Geneva.
Introduced by Sen. Ernest Hollings (D.S Car., the exclusion took the form of an amendment to the Export-Import authorization bill, a piece of legislation the Administration considers crucial.
Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs Richard Cooper said that the Adminstration would make every effort to defeat the Hollings amendment.
"The Japanese have indicated their great concern, to put it mildly," Cooper said, "and was have heard from others. It (the Hollings Amendment) casts very serious doubt on a successful conclusion of the MTN."
Cooper noted that some observers had said "no textiles, no MTN." He said that the U.S. had not yet come to that "formulation", but repeated the concern voiced over the weekend by Presidential adviser Robert S. Strauss. Cooper said it would be difficult for the European Common Market "to come forward with an acceptable offer" on agricutural tariffs, if the Hollings proposal becomes law.
The Miyazaki-Cooper meeting was the second in a series of over-all economic discussions, the first having taken place in Tokyo in September, 1977.
Cooper said the U.S. was disappointed that the Japanese current account (trade and services) surplus had not "come down as we had hoped it would". But both he and Miyazaki observed that American manufacturers had not taken the same advantage as European producers of changes japan has made to encourage more imports.
"We have observed a substantial increase in 1978 in Japanese imports of manufactured goods," Cooper said. "We'd like to see even more of an increase in manufactured imports, but there are two sides to this. It's up to the Japanese government to make the opportunities available, but it's up to private businessmen everywhere to take advantage of those opportunities."
The Japanese officials told their American counterparts that manufactured imports are running at about 27 per cent of total imports, compared to 21 per cent a year ago at this time.