U.S. threatens retaliatory tariffsA top U.S. official...

BUSINESS DIGEST

October 24, 1992

U.S. threatens retaliatory tariffs

A top U.S. official warned yesterday that the United States was ready to impose hefty retaliatory tariffs on French and other European exports within days in a fight over oilseeds trade as tensions between the two sides mounted. "It's a matter of days," U.S. Trade Representative Carla Hills told a small group of reporters in Pittsburgh.

Ms. Hills also squarely blamed the European Community for the latest impasse in international talks aimed at achieving a new global trade agreement. She said the United States was not ready to negotiate further until the EC negotiated a common position among its member nations.

Meanwhile, European Commission officials, under pressure from Germany and Britain, held out hope yesterday that a solution might still be found as early as this weekend, though talks broke down Thursday.

Gray resigns at publicity firm

Robert K. Gray, a longtime Washington insider, has resigned as chairman of Hill and Knowlton, one of the world's largest public relations firms, the company announced yesterday.

A statement issued by Hill and Knowlton did not disclose the reason for Mr. Gray's departure. Sources close to the firm said he was under pressure because of Hill and Knowlton's financial problems, loss of clients and negative publicity from its controversial clients in recent years. No successor was named. Mr. Gray, 71, was director of communications for the 1980 Reagan-Bush campaign.

Baltimore engineers win N.Y. job

Environmental Elements Corp., a Baltimore-based environmental design and engineering company, has won a $7 million contract from Ogden Martin Systems Inc. to build an air-pollution control system for a municipal solid waste incinerator to be built in Onondaga, N.Y.

Japan's brokerages lose money

Almost all of Japan's biggest brokerages lost money in the first half of the 1992 fiscal year because of Tokyo's stagnant stock market, the firms said.

Of the so-called Big Four, only No. 2 Daiwa Securities Co. avoided an after-tax loss during the April-September period.

PharmaKinetics files debt plan

Two years after PharmaKinetics Laboratories Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the company says it has filed a reorganization plan with the court that will give Maryland National Bank $8.3 million and other debtors up to $2.4 million.

The company has already paid Maryland National $4 million. The company's chief financial officer, Taryn L. Kunkel, said the bank would also receive a $2.35 million term note and $1.95 million in cash.

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