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The BBC's Paul Reynolds
"Mr Prodi even declared that the American president was now a European"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 31 May, 2000, 20:37 GMT 21:37 UK
EU-US trade row deepens
Bill Clinton, Antonio Guterres and Romano Prodi at the end of their joint meeting
Clinton, Guterres and Prodi at the end of their meeting
US President Bill Clinton and European Union leaders have failed to reach agreement on a range of trade issues at their summit in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon.

The president of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, said that although no progress had been made, both sides were committed to settling disputes via the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

"We decided that megaphone diplomacy would be replaced by telephone diplomacy," said Mr Prodi said. "That is more constructive, even if less sexy."

Long-standing trade disputes between the EU and US include banana imports, hormone enhanced beef, genetically modified crops and aerospace subsidies.



We decided that megaphone diplomacy would be replaced by telephone diplomacy

Romano Prodi
Earlier, EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said both sides would hold consultations at the WTO next week to discuss the issues.

"We both believe it is worthwhile trying to relaunch a round this year."

At a joint news conference with Mr Clinton, Mr Prodi admitted "conflicts" were always possible between such large trading partners.

Between them, Europe and the US represent more than 40% of world trade.

Foreign policy

After the meeting, Mr Clinton said the US was willing to share technology for a limited nuclear missile defence system with certain other nations.


Clinton looks through microscope
The US has declared Aids a threat to national security

Both Mr Clinton and EU leaders jointly urged Russia to end the fighting in Chechnya and pursue a political solution for the conflict.

They also agreed to tackle Aids in Africa more vigorously.

In addition, there were agreements on data protection and on the setting up of a group of independent scientists to examine bio-technology.

Mr Clinton said that he had rearranged his schedule so that he could meet Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in Lisbon on Thursday morning to discuss the Middle East peace process.

The meeting had been scheduled for Berlin, Mr Clinton's next stop on his week-long European trip.

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See also:

30 May 00 | Business
Trade disputes mar Clinton visit
24 Mar 00 | Americas
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28 Mar 00 | Europe
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19 Jan 00 | Americas
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