WASHINGTON — The granting of broader trade benefits to Caribbean Basin Initiative countries became more doubtful Tuesday with the release of the Senate Finance Committee’s version of the implementing legislation for the GATT Uruguay Round agreement on global trade.
Sen. Daniel P. Moynihan (D., N.Y.) struck from the bill an administration proposal to extend benefits to the Caribbean similar to those given Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement. Advocates of the CBI parity idea, though, vowed to pursue it.
Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Rufus Yerxa, for one, said in an interview that the administration would attempt to reinstate the CBI proposal into the Senate bill. He noted, however, that the provision, which has been put forth by the administration in a preliminary draft of the GATT implementing legislation, is not “necessary” to the passage of GATT. The CBI proposal is not as critical as an extension of fast-track negotiating authority, which also was cut from the committee’s version by Moynihan, Yerxa said.
On another matter, Sen. John Breaux (D., La.) said that although he did not do so Tuesday, he still plans to introduce an amendment to GATT that would change the way the country of origin is determined for apparel imports. As reported, his amendment, promoted by the domestic textile and apparel industries, would shift the determining factor from where the fabric for the apparel is cut to where it is sewn.
The committee hearing also gave rise to complaints and concerns about the administration’s proposals to make up for the estimated $12.5 billion that would be lost in tariff revenues during the first five years of GATT.
Acknowledging that there are problems, Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen sent a letter to Moynihan Tuesday to say that the administration is changing details of its funding formula, outlined last week to members of the House and Senate.
— Fairchild News Service