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Cablegate: Wto Demarche On U.S./Ec Taft Proposal - Canada's

VZCZCXRO1628
PP RUEHGA RUEHHA RUEHQU RUEHVC
DE RUEHOT #0309 0601704
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 291704Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY OTTAWA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7424
INFO RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY 0620
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 1264
RUCNCAN/ALL CANADIAN POSTS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS OTTAWA 000309

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/CAN AND EEB/MTA (AARON SCHEIBE)
STATE PASS USTR (BNORTON, JWEISS)
COMMERCE FOR EBRZYTWA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD WTRO ECON CA EUN
SUBJECT: WTO DEMARCHE ON U.S./EC TAFT PROPOSAL - CANADA'S
REACTION

REF: STATE 12905

1. On February 29, EMIN presented reftel demarche to
Balsharan Rakhra, Trade Policy Officer, Technical Barriers
and Regulations Division, DFAIT. He had arranged to make the
presentation jointly with his EU Mission counterpart, but she
was absent due to illness. At the end of his oral
presentation, EMIN asked the Canadian government to
co-sponsor the U.S.-EC proposal on non-tariff barriers to
textiles, apparel, footwear, and travel goods (TAFT). He
left a copy of the talking points and the text of the joint
TAFT proposal.

2. Rakhra said that the Canadian government finds the
U.S.-EC proposal "very positive" and supports its intent and
content strongly "in principle." Canada wants to collaborate
with the U.S. and the EU to move this initiative forward.

3. However, Rakhra could not say at this time when Canada
would agree to be a co-sponsor. The Canadian government's
inability to co-sponsor at the present time awaits
clarification of a technical legal issue, she explained.
Government lawyers expect to finalize in the near future
their legal analysis of whether the TAFT proposal references
in para. 5 and later paragraphs to the existing Technical
Barriers of Trade (TBT) Agreement can be supported legally.
The key question is "whether the new proposal can legally
modify the TBT Agreement?" Rakhra promised that there would
be further consultations in Genera on this matter between
Canadian officials and their U.S. and EU counterparts.

Visit Canada,s Economy and Environment Forum at
http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/can ada

WILKINS

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