Aart de Zeeuw, an Dutch agricultural official, has been vaulted to fame as the author of a seven-page proposal for farm-support reform that could enable the economic summit to overcome a major barrier to unity. Last week he circulated a paper offering United States and the European Community (EC) a way to bridge the yawning gap between them on how best to eliminate trade-distorting agricultural subsidies.

US officials like his plan, which could commit Europeans to take action, even if it would not set tight deadlines for scrapping the Common Agricultural Policy that soaks up 60 percent of the EC budget.

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