Hopes that the Americans and Europeans would resolve their dispute over farm trade policies and produce a new worldwide system to promote international commerce have been thwarted once again. Yesterday's fruitless meeting between President Bush and Jacques Delors, president of the European Community, condemns this key initiative to more months of inconclusive talk-talk.
There is still a chance -- indeed a mandate -- for an agreement before presidential authority to present a package not subject to congressional amendment expires in June 1993. Otherwise, other nations will have good reason to believe that special interests in Congress could coalesce to tear any conceivable accord apart. But in the meantime, an opportunity to give the lagging global economy a needed boost has been sacrificed to political considerations.
Make no mistake about it: the issues involved in the U.S.-EC dispute are not worth this delay. Only 10 percent of potential world trade is involved in trying to force down the ridiculously high European farm subsidies. Almost 90 percent of complicated arrangements in other fields have been agreed, at least tentatively. But because the French and German governments, especially, lack the gumption to take on a coddled agricultural sector and Mr. Bush is not especially anxious to provoke American protectionists during an election year, politics has triumphed over economics.