July 2, 1986

The President announced today that a provisional agreement has been reached to keep European Community agricultural markets open to U.S. exports. The agreement was reached after the United States threatened retaliation in the face of proposed EC tariffs in connection with the expansion of the EC to include Spain and Portugal. This agreement is important for American farmers in that it will allow U.S. exports of corn and sorghum to Spain to continue while further negotiations are conducted under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

The President applauds the EC's flexibility in helping to avert a confrontation on this issue. He also congratulates U.S. Trade Representative Clayton Yeutter and Agriculture Secretary Richard Lyng for skillfully negotiating this interim solution. He believes this arrangement will enhance the administration's policy of expanding trade through reduced protectionist barriers and increased fairness for U.S. exporters.

The dispute arose over new EC measures which took effect March 1, which had the potential of restricting over $600 million in U.S. farm exports to Spain. On March 31 the President announced his intention to take action against the new restrictions absent progress with the EC in resolving the dispute.

Note: Larry M. Speakes read the statement to reporters at 10:30 a.m. in the Briefing Room at the White House prior to a briefing by Secretary of Commerce Malcolm Baldrige.