TRADE: Speeding Up a Snail

Even for multinational economic negotiations, the trade talks among 93 nations sponsored by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade have been proceeding at a snail's pace. Negotiations were launched 30 months ago, and so far have accomplished next to nothing—mostly because the U.S. first had to get a law passed giving the President authority to offer concessions, then conduct Government-industry-labor consultations on its negotiating position. Last week, however, Chief U.S. Negotiator William N. Walker finally presented the first major U.S. proposal: all industrial nations should cut tariffs 50% to 60%. With that, the GATT talks in Geneva can...