The European Union has cautioned against excessive optimism over the mainland's early entry to the World Trade Organisation following its landmark agreement with the United States. Trade representatives welcomed the deal but warned that Beijing would still have to reach agreement with the EU and Canada before it could join the WTO. The EU had 'specific interests' which were different from those of the US, said a spokesman for EC Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy. He said the EU shared a common policy on about 80 per cent of the issues that the US was likely to have pursued in its WTO negotiations. However, there was a core set of concerns that were unique to Brussels, which the EC would need to discuss separately. European trade negotiators were in contact with the US negotiating team in Beijing to ascertain the exact details of the agreement, the spokesman, Anthony Gooch, said. 'Clearly, there is around 20 per cent of a deal where we have specific interests that are different to the US and which would mean that we would need to have our own negotiation with China,' Mr Gooch said. The EU is keen to address the high level of import tariffs on cars and car parts and ensure greater access to the mainland's banking, life insurance, telecommunications and distribution markets. Brussels negotiators believed the US had struck a meaningful, rather than a politically oriented, deal as this was the only way the US Congress would be willing to allow Normal Trading Relations with Beijing. However, Mr Gooch said if certain key areas of the mainland's markets were not sufficiently open, Brussels would be concerned. 'If they are not allowing majority ownership in life insurance and telecoms then we would have some concerns,' one negotiator said. Trade diplomats in Geneva, where the WTO is based, also cautioned against excessive optimism over the deal. They said that a deal was still some way off without an agreement with the EU, or Canada - the fourth trading nation that makes up the so-called 'quad' countries, which includes Japan. 'One should not be overly pessimistic, this agreement is certainly a milestone, but the Chinese still need to talk [to] Brussels and the Canadians.' Beijing has already reached an agreement on goods and industrial products with Japan, and is said to be close to an agreement on services, largely completing its WTO agreement with Tokyo. Trade diplomats yesterday said that with the November 30 Seattle summit looming, when the world trading nations hope to launch a new round of global trade liberalisation, there seemed to be not enough time left for the mainland to enter the WTO before the new round is launched. Furthermore, Beijing will also need to assuage concerns of other developing countries, who are worried the mainland's comparatively low labour costs will mean their markets will be flooded by cheap imports. But many officials believe that if the US deal is seen as broadly acceptable, other countries will fall in line and ensure that, when the actual negotiation for the so-called Millennium Round begins, the mainland will be able to participate. Failure to do so would mean the mainland would effectively have to wait for another three years before it could make a meaningful contribution to the trade liberalisation negotiations. Mr Gooch said that until more details of the deal with the US were seen, Brussels was holding off before scheduling a new set of negotiations. However, the much-delayed Sino-EU summit is now provisionally booked to take place in Beijing on December 20, and the weeks running up to the summit might prove to be a useful time to meet, some diplomats said.