US COMES UNDER ATTACK AT GATT SERVICES TALKS

US COMES UNDER ATTACK AT GATT SERVICES TALKS

The United States once again came under sharp attack at the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade talks Wednesday after it stuck to its demands for a whole range of exemptions from any liberalization of services, officials said.

''Other delegations said the U.S. list of offers on services stands apart

from all the rest," one said.Speaking after a meeting of the Uruguay Round negotiating group on the sector, the official said participants "were all pessimistic except for the Japanese, who said that some progress had been made."

European Community negotiators revealed here Monday that the U.S. list of offers on services included so many exceptions that around three-quarters of the sector would be excluded.

Officials at the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the Geneva-based rule-maker for world trade that sponsored the Uruguay Round, said Wednesday that Rufus Yerxa, U.S. chief negotiator, had told the group the U.S. list "is not final."

"But the U.S. is disappointed at offers by other countries in sectors which are crucial to the U.S.," one official paraphrased him as saying.

"Mr. Yerxa said that these sectors are not well covered by the other major participants, especially financial services, telecommunications and audio-visual services," the official went on.

The official said Yerxa explained the long list of U.S. exemptions by saying they followed the weak commitments by others. These other delegations, Yerxa said, according to the GATT official, "must come forward with new offers, especially on financial services and telecommunications, if they want the list of U.S. exemptions to be reduced."

Mr. Yerxa also charged that many delegations - among them the EC as a whole - had presented services liberalization offers "which looked different at first but which in fact are basically the same as before."

GATT officials said 23 participants, counting the community as one, have so far presented basic offers on services - a sector that the United States itself insisted on including in the round when talks first began.

Mr. Yerxa, speaking to reporters after the working group talks, said, ''There is still confusion about our offer, and there is a lot to be done, but I do not think that the EC is saying too much different from what we say. They want commitments also.