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EU trade commissioner says U.S. taking short-term view on trade talks

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PARIS (AP) -- The United States is taking a very short-term view of next week's World Trade Organization talks, the European Union's trade commissioner said in an interview to be published Saturday.

World leaders will meet Tuesday in Seattle to set the agenda for a new round of trade discussions expected to further liberalize the world economy."The Americans see the stakes with a very short-term view. They are influenced by their electoral cycle," EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy was quoted as saying in Saturday's edition of the French daily Le Figaro. A copy of the interview was made available to the Associated Press on Friday.

"Apart from their standard subjects, they are not very enthusiastic about going a bit further and racking their brains," Lamy, who is French, told the newspaper.

Europe's top trade negotiator said it would be some years before one could judge just how effective the Seattle summit and the ensuing talks had been.

"The success or failure of the talks will appear in three, four or five years, when parliaments will be called on to ratify the results of our negotiations," Lamy was quoted as saying in Le Figaro.

Lamy also said Europe was not alone in wanting to broaden the scope of the summit to include issues other than agriculture and service industries.

"Our point of view is shared by players who represent a little more than half of the volume of world trade. That's not what I'd call being isolated," he said.

Japan, East European countries seeking entry to the European Union and some Asian countries agreed that issues such as competition and investment should also be discussed, he said.