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Cablegate: Wto Demarche Request - U.S./Ec Taft Proposal

VZCZCXRO7653
RR RUEHAG RUEHAP RUEHDE RUEHDF RUEHGI RUEHHM RUEHLZ RUEHMA RUEHMR
RUEHPA RUEHPB RUEHRN
DE RUEHWL #0046 0450333
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 140333Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5061
INFO RUEHXQ/ALL EUROPEAN UNION POST
RUCNWTO/WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION COLLECTIVE
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 5098
RUEHNZ/AMCONSUL AUCKLAND 1616
RUEHDN/AMCONSUL SYDNEY 0636
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0487
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHDC
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RHFJUSC/US CUSTOMS SERVICE WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC 0212

UNCLAS WELLINGTON 000046

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

EAP/ANP, EEB FOR AARON SCHIBE, STATE PASS TO USTR FOR B
NORTON, J WEISS, COMMERCE FOR E BRZYTWA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD WTRO ECON NZ
SUBJECT: WTO DEMARCHE REQUEST - U.S./EC TAFT PROPOSAL

REF: SECSTATE 12905

1. (SBU) Econoff together with EU's Charge' d'Affaire George
Cunningham, jointly delivered reftel demarche points to Mark
Trainor, Deputy Director of the Goods Trade Negotiations
Division and Andrew White of the New Zealand Ministry of
Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) inviting GNZ to join as
co-sponsor of the U.S./EC textiles, apparel, footwear and
travel goods (TAFT) Proposal. Trainor's initial response was
that while New Zealand could see some benefit in this kind of
proposal, and as their own forestry non-tariff barrier (NTB)
proposal demonstrates, they share the goal of clarifying the
implementation of the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT)
Agreement. It was apparent in the course of the demarche
that there had been considerable internal discussion both
within MFAT and with their Mission in Geneva on this topic
prior to the meeting and that the text of the TAFT Proposal
had been carefully studied.

2. (U) In response, Mr. Trainor began by explaining that
there were a number of issues which have precluded GNZ from
supporting the U.S./EC proposal thus far. His concerns are
summarized as follows:

-- that this proposal would elevate ("prioritize") a number
of types of labeling (e.g. country of origin, fiber content)
to a level above safety labeling. He said that MFAT has some
difficulty in seeing the justification for giving special
status to, e.g., country of origin labeling ahead of, e.g.,
safety labeling. He is concerned that the proposal would
provide a "safe harbor" for those kinds of labeling, where
they would automatically be deemed consistent with the TBT
Agreement. On the other hand, safety labeling would have to
be proven to be "no more restrictive than necessary" to be
consistent with the Agreement.

-- New Zealand requires that some children's nightwear carry
a stand alone high fire danger label. They are concerned that
this would be incompatible with Article 4.3 of the U.S./EC
proposal.

-- MFAT has a more general concern with Article 4.2 - while
the provision does not run counter to New Zealand's current
approach to labeling; the way it is worded may become
problematic in the future. For example, if a firm wants to
label their clothing as "carbon neutral" or "sustainable" or
with another environmental claim, it would be important for
consumers to be able to trust such a label. This could
require third party certification. MFAT is interested to
know what kind of measures the U.S./EC are trying to capture
with this provision, and if it could be amended to take
account of this issue.

-- MFAT is interested in articles 5 and 6 of the proposal.
Can the U.S./EC confirm that they are designed to tighten the
requirements around making TBT notifications around totally
chlorine free (TCF) labeling requirements (i.e. to remove the
need for:
a) the measure to not be based on international standards and
b) the need for the measure to have a significant effect on
the trade of other members in order for the notification
obligation to kick in).
If so, why does U.S/EC feel those requirements should be
tightened?

3. (U) Post seeks clarification to the issues raised by MFAT
in hope of allying their concerns and thus securing their
support for the U.S./EC TAFT proposal.
MCCORMICK

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