W.T.O. reaches accord on ag chairman

by Emily Wilson
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After months of arguing, the World Trade Organization has finally selected a chairman for important agricultural trade talks that have been under way for several months, but without a leader. The compromise choice for chairman was Jorge Voto-Bernales, Peru's ambassador to the W.T.O.

Named as vice-chairman of the agricultural trade negotiations, with responsibility for day-to-day supervision of the negotiating committee, was Yoichi Suzuki of Japan.

Mr. Voto-Bernales' selection came after the European Union refused to back down in its opposition to Celso Amorim, Brazil's ambassador to the W.T.O., who was the choice of a majority of the 136 member nations of the W.T.O. The E.U. objection was based on Brazil's membership in the Cairns group of agricultural exporting nations, which is committed to the elimination of export subsidies on farm products.