CAIRNS GROUP NATIONS SAY US AND EC PLAYING GAMES

CAIRNS GROUP NATIONS SAY US AND EC PLAYING GAMES

Independent food exporting nations accused the United States and the European Community Thursday of "playing games" in the negotiations to reach a global trade accord.

The Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade can be successfully concluded by a Dec. 15 deadline "only . . . if some of the key participants stop playing games and do the deal," said Senator Peter Cook, Australia's trade minister.The thinly veiled attack on the United States and the EC reflected the fear of the 14-nation Cairns group of farm exporting nations that Washington and Brussels will spring an unacceptable "take it or leave it" farm accord on the eve of the December 15 deadline.

Mr. Cook, the Cairns chairman, also took France to task for its opposition to an EC-U.S. accord on reducing farm subsidies, the so-called Blair House deal.

''The time for posturing, maneuvering and concentrating on narrow sectional interests (is over)," Mr. Cook said.

Mr. Cook, accompanied by Thailand's deputy prime minister Supachai Panitchpakdi, and Argentina's farm secretary Felipe Sola, held discussions this weeks with French and German ministers and the EC Commission.

The Cairns group was seriously concerned by attitudes it had encountered during its talks, Mr. Cook said. "There is a dangerous assumption that the Cairns group will simply tag along on issues such as Blair House."

But the Cairns members were not party to, and had not accepted, the Blair House accord, Mr. Cook said.

The Cairns group would need "considerable persuasion" to accept Blair House if it was not accompanied by a "big and bold" market access offers opening up U.S. and EC agricultural markets, Cook added.

Mr. Sola said France and Germany were blaming each other for the impasse over the Blair House accord.