NEW ZEALAND'S Michael Moore wasn't formally invited to the
economic summit. But the minister of foreign affairs and trade came
anyway to this annual gathering of the leaders of the seven
Mr. Moore wants to talk about farm trade - an issue that some
experts rank as the most important and most difficult topic that the
Group of Seven must deal with here.
"It threatens to destroy progress in all areas," Moore says. He
was referring to all areas of the Uruguay round of trade
negotiations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
(GATT), the broadest set of talks on removing barriers to
international commerce ever undertaken by the GATT's dozens of
Of course, other issues are under discussion at the Group of
Seven summit, which formally began at Rice University here Monday.
For example, the leaders of the United States, Japan, West Germany,
France, Britain, Italy, and Canada reviewed the question of
financial assistance to China and the Soviet Union.
Japan announced on Monday that following the summit it would lift
a freeze on $5.4 billion in credit it promised China two years ago,
before the suppression of democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen
Square. The crackdown prompted the seven to decide at their summit
in France last year to withhold aid to China.
Japan is worried about political stability in its huge neighbor
with more than 1 billion people. It does not want to isolate China,
Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesman Taizo Watanabe told the press
He noted that a struggle continues between conservatives and
liberals within the Chinese regime. "But it is the judgment of Japan
that things are moving in the right direction," he said.
In the case of the Soviet Union, Japan will provide no financial
aid. It wants the Soviets to return the chain of islands north of
Japan that Josef Stalin seized after the US had dropped atomic bombs
West Germany, however, will go ahead with $3 billion in
assistance to the Soviet Union. It wants to encourage Moscow to get
its troops out of East Germany and not erect any roadblocks in the
way of political unification of the two Germanies.
The US attitude has evolved into one of, "It's your money. You do
what you like with it."
However, Secretary of State James Baker III likes to refer to the
"$15 billion or so" that the Soviet Union spends each year on such
dictatorships as those of Cuba and Ethiopia and "how much soap could
be put on the shelves in the Soviet economy" with that amount of