BULK SHIPPERS WANT US-SOVIET PACT EXEMPTION

BULK SHIPPERS WANT US-SOVIET PACT EXEMPTION

Grain exporters, chemical and agricultural shippers and international maritime operators are pushing the Bush administration to exempt bulk shipping

from potential cargo reservation terms in a U.S.-Soviet maritime agreement.

Talks on a new bilateral pact will resume March 5 at King's Point, N.Y.The Maritime Administration, the lead agency in the negotiations, wants the agreement to apportion cargo in one-third shares to the United States, the Soviet Union and third-flag countries.

Steve McCoy, president of the North American Export Grain Association, said Thursday a cargo reservation provision would "cripple U.S. export opportunities in the Soviet Union.

"For the first time ever, U.S. exporters, including agricultural exporters, would be exposed to the potential costs of cargo preference applied to commercial cargoes to the Soviet Union."