Search

 

Cablegate: France Still Dubious About Positive Dda Outcome

VZCZCXRO6544
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV
DE RUEHFR #0693/01 0541821
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 231821Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5111
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES
RUEHMRE/AMCONSUL MARSEILLE 1551
RUEHSR/AMCONSUL STRASBOURG 0332
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2610
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 PARIS 000693

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

BRUSSELS PASS USEU FOR AGMINCOUNSELOR
STATE FOR OES; EUR/ERA;
STATE PASS USTR FOR MURPHY;
USDA/OS/JOHANNS/TERPSTRA;
USDA/FAS FOR OA/YOST;
OCRA/CURTIS
ONA/RIEMENSCHNEIDER
FAA/YOUNG;
EU POSTS PASS TO AGRICULTURE AND ECON
GENEVA FOR USTR, ALSO AGRICULTURE

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR ETRD EU FR
SUBJECT: FRANCE STILL DUBIOUS ABOUT POSITIVE DDA OUTCOME

REF: (A) 2007 State 15811

PARIS 00000693 001.2 OF 002


1. (SBU) Paris AGR and ECON officials transmitted the reftel talking
points to Philippe Duclaud, Foreign Affairs Adviser to the French
Minister of Agriculture, Christian Ligeard, the Head of the
International Affairs Office at the Ministry of Agriculture and
Raphael Alomar, Agricultural Adviser to the French President.

2. (SBU) Christian Ligeard stated that France welcomes the restart
of the discussion but maintains its position that the EU should not
move beyond its 2005 Hong Kong proposal, especially in the absence
of substantive proposals from both the United States and the G20
group of developing countries. Lowering tariff rates beyond the 39
percent proposal plus adding TRQs for sensitive products would
necessitate a further reform of the Common Agricultural Policy,
which France opposes. In addition, Philippe Duclaud said that France
fears that the EU Commission would never implement safeguard clauses
should imports rise excessively, counter to the U.S. approach. On a
more positive note, Christian Ligeard said that France agreed with
the U.S. proposal that tariff decreases be based on applied tariffs
as decreases on bound tariff would be - quote - fictitious - end
quote -.

3. (SBU) According to Presidential Adviser Raphael Alomar, the key
agricultural issues France would like to see addressed by EU trading
partners in compensation for the abolition of export subsidies are
geographic indications (GI), state trading enterprises, food aid and
export credits in addition to domestic subsidies. Alomar
specifically mentioned that in France's views, the recent USDA farm
bill proposal was very disappointing in terms of reducing domestic
support.

4. (SBU) Alomar also repeated that currently, none of the proposals
on offer, especially on NAMA and services from major developing
countries, would justify new EU concessions. Ligeard specifically
criticized India's -quote - stubbornness - end quote - on investment
rules and opening of its agricultural market but praised Brazil's
recent openness on services.

5.(SBU) Both interlocutors said that the current GOF will maintain
its hard-line with Commissioner Mandelson, reminding him to stay
within the parameters of his negotiating mandate. President Chirac
recently wrote a letter reiterating his opposition to any further EU
concessions to German Chancellor Merkel. Both interlocutors do not
expect any significant change after the May 2007 Presidential
election as both rightwing candidate Nicolas Sarkozy and leftwing
candidate Segolene Royal have publicly supported regulation of free
trade and expressed opposition to any agreement that would
disadvantage France. France also believes it has a blocking minority
(if not a majority) at the EU Council to derail any agreement which
it opposes.

6. (SBU) The overall impression from our interlocutors is that
France is not willing to conclude the DDA soon. Ligeard said that
several economists have estimated the global growth gain from DDA at
less than 0.5 percent and that the EU and France have a lot to lose
and little to gain from an agreement. Alomar estimated that French
job losses from the opening of agricultural markets could exceed
100,000, threatening France's "sovereign right to food
self-sufficiency". In his views, the only winners would be Brazil,
Cairns group countries, and to a much lesser extent, the United
States. Less developed countries (Africa) would be the biggest
losers as they already benefit from extensive market access in the
EU, market access they would loose to Brazil or Argentina should
tariffs decrease. Finally, neither Alomar nor Duclaud foresee an
agreement being reached in 2007. They would rather envision a 2009
or 2010 conclusion, though Alomar did say that if the elements of a
deal came together this year, it would likely be in the September-
December time-frame.

7. (SBU) Surprisingly, French interlocutors seemed to believe that
the DDA difficulties reflected the failure of what they see as an

PARIS 00000693 002.2 OF 002


excessively large multilateral round. According to Ligeard, too many
countries with too many diverging interests will never agree. He
concluded that France would not be opposed to multilateral
agreements among large groups of countries with similar interests
and similar levels of development.

Stapleton

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

COP24: Rapid Action Urged At Climate Change Conference

Following a year of devastating climate disasters around the globe, from California to Kerala, and Tonga to Japan, the annual UN Climate Change Conference opens with the goal of finalising the implementation guidelines for the Paris Climate Change Agreement. More>>

ALSO:

New Report: Refugees In PNG Being Pushed To The Brink

Refugee Council of Australia and Amnesty International paint a stark picture of a traumatised refugee population hit hard by Australia's recent healthcare and counselling service cuts, as well as continued threats to their safety. More>>

ALSO:

Jamal Khashoggi: UK, France, Germany Join Calls For Credible Investigation

Germany, the United Kingdom and France share the grave concern expressed by others including HRVP Mogherini and UNSG Guterres, and are treating this incident with the utmost seriousness. More>>

ALSO:

MSF Not Wanted: Nauru Government Shows Continued Callousness

The Nauruan Government’s decision to ask Doctors Without Borders to immediately leave shows continued callousness towards asylum seekers desperately seeking a safe place to call home, Green MP Golriz Ghahraman said today. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC