TRADE BRIEFS

TRADE BRIEFS

CANADA SET TO FIGHT

US RULING ON LUMBER

Canadian officials vowed to fight an expected U.S. decision today that Canada is subsidizing its lumber exports, and ruled out any effort to negotiate a settlement in the dispute.

The Commerce Department is expected to announce that Canada is subsidizing its exports by hundreds of millions of dollars a year, a preliminary ruling that could lead to a penalty that large by July.

In press conferences in Ottawa and Washington, senior Canadian officials said they would challenge such a decision under the U.S.-Canada free-trade agreement, a process that could take until the summer of 1993.

He denied that Canada's government-set pricing system for lumber had resulted in subsidies and blamed the U.S. government and American lumber producers for poor management of U.S. resources.

US-MEXICO TUNA PLAN

DEFENDED BY US OFFICIAL

WASHINGTON - A U.S. official Thursday defended a Bush administration plan to lift an embargo on Mexican tuna in exchange for promises to reduce dolphin killing by Mexican fishermen.

The plan calls for a five-year moratorium by Mexico on the practice of setting nets on dolphins to catch the tuna on which they feed. Environmental critics say the plan would allow Mexico to resume this practice after five years, but the U.S. official said that current law still would be in effect at that time, and the embargo would be reimposed.

He said the Bush plan negotiated with Mexico would save an estimated 500,000 dolphins by 2000 and force reforms by Mexico's tuna fleet that would be hard to reverse.

NUCLEAR DUMP PLANS

DRAW MEXICAN CONCERNS

MEXICO CITY - Mexico sent Washington a diplomatic note expressing concern over the planned construction of three nuclear waste dumps across the border in Texas, the Foreign Ministry said.

The ministry said the proposed nuclear dump sites, at Sierra Blanca, Dryden and Spofford in Texas, were all within the 60-mile border zone covered by the U.S.-Mexican joint-border environmental protection agreement announced by President Bush last week.

It said the United States had said it would inform Mexico officially of the details of the proposed dumps at a bilateral meeting in Del Rio, Texas, March 20.

JUST 12 NATIONS SUBMIT

ACCESS OFFERS TO GATT

GENEVA - Uruguay Round sources said Thursday only 12 of the 108 participants in the stalled trade talks had submitted all or a large part of their market access offers.

A further 13 participants were expected to present their access improvement offers in the next few days, they said. The Market Access Group will hold another meeting next Thursday.

The sources said several of the countries so far had put in only access offers for farm products, with offers for industrial goods coming soon, including from the United States and the European Community.