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Cablegate: Wto Demarches Delivered On Environmental, Taft

VZCZCXRO5857
PP RUEHAG RUEHAP RUEHDE RUEHDF RUEHGI RUEHHM RUEHLZ RUEHMA RUEHMR
RUEHPA RUEHPB RUEHRN
DE RUEHEG #0268 0431310
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 121310Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8127
INFO RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCNWTO/WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS CAIRO 000268

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA/ELA, EBB/TPP/MTA/RHEE AND SCHEIBE
USTR FOR NORTON, WEISS, PRESCOTT
COMMERCE FOR BRZYTA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD WTO SENV EG
SUBJECT: WTO DEMARCHES DELIVERED ON ENVIRONMENTAL, TAFT
GOODS IN EGYPT

REF: A. STATE 12905
B. STATE 11974

Sensitive but unclassified, not for Internet distribution.

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Econ Counselor and econoff delivered
demarches on the US/EC proposals on labeling for textile,
apparel, footware, and travel (TAFT) goods (ref A) and
environmental goods and services (ref B) to Walid el-Nozahay,
head of the WTO department at the Egyptian Ministry of Trade
and Industry, on February 11. European Commission econ
counselor Christophe Besse joined in the demarche on TAFT
goods, but had no instructions regarding the environmental
goods and services proposal. Nozahay said both issues are
under consideration and offered no definitive response. END
SUMMARY

----------
TAFT goods
----------

2. (SBU) Before the meeting, we sent the TAFT negotiating
text to Nozahay and sought formal co-sponsorship from the GOE
on February 11. He responded that he was waiting for comment
from private-sector stakeholders at the Egyptian Federation
of Industries. Meanwhile, he noted that the proposal
differed from an earlier EC paper and questioned whether the
issue should be addressed bilaterally with the EC or in the
WTO. We and the EC jointly responded that the WTO was the
appropriate venue. Nozahay also suggested that labels should
include trademark and size information.

-------------------
Environmental Goods
-------------------

3. (SBU) In response to the US-EC proposal to eliminate
tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade in environmental
goods and services, Nozahay said that the GOE disagrees with
the Indian project approach and is formulating its own list
of environmental goods based on the World Bank list and the
interests of Egyptian private industry. Nozahay said his
concern is the lack of a precise definition for environmental
goods and services; i.e. do they include goods produced in an
environmentally friendly way or include only goods whose use
is beneficial to the environment? We promised to seek
clarification on the definition.

4. (SBU) Nozahay also questioned our assertion that Egyptian
exports of the World Bank's climate-friendly goods totaled
$629 million in 2006. In fact, he said, Egyptian exports of
the goods are negligible. We promised to seek clarification
on this point as well.

5. (SBU) Action request: Department is requested to provide
more detail on the $629 million figure and a definition of
environmental goods and services we can share with Nozahay.

6. (SBU) Comment: The environmental goods and services
demarche left us with no reason to question ref B assertion
that the GOE is using the process of developing its own
environmental-goods list to play for time in the NAMA
negotiations.
RICCIARDONE

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