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Cablegate: Dialogue On Economic Cooperation (Dec) Follow-Up

VZCZCXRO4595
PP RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHC #8769/01 1790549
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 261555Z JUN 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD PRIORITY 9170-9171
INFO IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC 0817-0818

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 STATE 068769

SENSITIVE

C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (SENSITIVE CAPTION ADDED)

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: BEXP EAGR EAID ECON EFIN ENRG IZ
SUBJECT: DIALOGUE ON ECONOMIC COOPERATION (DEC) FOLLOW-UP

REF: A. (A) BAGHDAD 1061
B. (B) STATE 24866
C. (C) BAGHDAD 643

STATE 00068769 001.2 OF 002


1. (U) USG agencies welcome Embassy Baghdad,s follow-up on
the Dialogue on Economic Cooperation (DEC) (REF A). We
concur with the division of labor and suggestions for USG
action and appreciate Embassy Econ,s work with GOI
counterparts to maintain the momentum the DEC afforded to the
USG-GOI bilateral economic relationship.

2. (U) In response to REF A, comments and updates from
Washington agencies follow. Washington agencies remain very
interested in seeing the GOI complete ratification procedures
for the agreements agreed upon in the 2005 JCRED, and would
welcome an update from post on their status.

--------------------------------------------- --
Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA)
--------------------------------------------- --

-- (SBU) The Council of Representatives (CoR) should be urged
to ratify the TIFA. DPM Barham Salih,s statement during the
DEC meeting that the private sector should act as if the TIFA
were ratified is encouraging, but is not a substitute for CoR
action.

-- (U) The Office of the United States Trade Representative
(USTR) in Washington is leading preparations for an upcoming
TIFA Council meeting with Iraq. Pending entry into force of
our bilateral TIFA, the U.S. and Iraq agreed during the DEC
talks to discuss a wide range of trade and investment issues,
including U.S.-Iraq cooperation on Iraq,s WTO accession at
the inaugural meeting of the TIFA Council. USTR requests
that Embassy Baghdad propose to the Government of Iraq (GOI)
that we hold the initial two-day TIFA meeting in November
2008. Suggested dates are the week of November 3-7, November
12-14, or alternatively, the week of November 17-21. The
first two options would enable GOI officials and private
business representatives to attend the November 9-13 Pack
Expo food packaging event in Chicago. (Note section on
Agriculture, below).

-- (U) To encourage U.S. private sector investment in Iraq
and showcase investment opportunities, the Department of
Commerce (DOC) is leading an official trade mission to Erbil,
Iraqi, June 22-25. Additionally, DOC is in the early
planning stages for a second trade mission to Al-Anbar this
fall.

-- (U) DOC is supporting the GOI in developing a legislative
and regulatory action plan through the work of its Commercial
Law Development Program (CLDP). CLDP continues to train CoR
and the Ministry of Oil,s Petroleum Contracting and
Licensing Directorate on petroleum exploration and
development of contracts and technical service agreements.
CLDP will also partner with Iraq,s Higher Judicial Council
as well as the Judicial Training Institute to engage in
judicial capacity building on commercial laws.

-- (U) DOC is working to provide substantive guidance to the
GOI on promoting public awareness of the positive effect that
free trade has on the Iraqi economy. In coordination with
USTR and per the request of the Iraqi Commercial Attache, DOC
will produce a one-page document on the benefits of free
trade to Iraq.

-- (U) DOC is currently updating its business guide for Iraq,
building on work undertaken in USAID,s Izdihar (now Tijara)
program. Additionally, DOC is creating a guide to investing
in Iraq, written primarily for new businesses entering the
Iraqi market. This guide will supplement and update the
Izdihar roadmap, serving as a first reference for businesses
exploring the Iraqi investment environment. Once complete,
the guide will be available on the IIRTF website.

-- (U) USTR has initiated discussions with Iraqi trade and
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) officials. During
November 2007 meetings in Amman, Jordan between USTR and
Iraqi officials, Iraq suggested that USG and Iraqi IPR
experts hold working-level IPR meetings in London. Although

STATE 00068769 002.2 OF 002


such meetings have not yet occurred, USTR continues to urge
that such meetings be scheduled as soon as possible at
mutually convenient times and places. DOC, USTR, the U.S.
Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and State will continue
to work together to lay the groundwork for a dialogue with
the Iraqis on IPR. USTR continues to offer assistance to
Iraq on amending Iraq,s IPR laws and requests that Iraq
provide a copy of its draft IPR laws to USG as soon as
possible. To the extent that USAID,s Tijara program will be
working on IPR issues in Iraq, USTR requests that Tijara
coordinate efforts with USG officials in Washington.

-- (U) USTR is working with Iraqi Commercial Consulate
officials in Washington on export opportunities under GSP and
is meeting with DOD to identify GSP-eligible exports that
might be exported by Iraqi state owned enterprises (SOEs). In
addition, USTR is coordinating with Post to identify PRTs
interested in integrating export opportunities under GSP into
their economic development efforts.

-- (U) DOC is assisting USTR,s effort to educate Iraqi
businesses on the benefits of GSP. Where appropriate, DOC
will work with the commercial service to better promote the
use of GSP and assist in match-making.

-- (U) A consistent and predictable commercial legal
environment includes mechanisms that promote the settlement
of disputes by means other than through litigation. DOC,s
business and investment guide will reflect the importance of
alternative dispute resolution techniques including the
adoption of appropriate international arbitration mechanisms.

-----------
Agriculture
-----------

-- (U) Contingent upon availability of funding, the U.S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA) intends to conduct
additional Iraq Agricultural Extension Revitalization (IAER)
training seminars both in-country and elsewhere as necessary.

-- (U) USDA also intends to support improvement of the Iraqi
digital videoconferencing capability for advancing education
in extension between the Iraqi extension system, USDA, and
its land grant university partners.

-- (U) DOC is encouraging Iraqi businessmen and government
ministers to attend PACK EXPO in Chicago on November 9 - 13.
PACK EXPO is the largest food packaging and processing
exhibition held in the United States.

----------
Labor Code
----------

-- (U) Given that there is no permanent labor law in Iraq and
no law governing industrial relations, USTR urges the GOI to
pass the new labor code, which has been under review for
several years. Until the GOI replaces the 1987 labor code,
which restricts or prohibits the exercise of the most basic
labor freedoms and falls short of Congressional requirements
for Iraq to be designated as a beneficiary developing country
under GSP, the status of industrial relations remains
ambiguous in Iraq.

3. (U) During the February DEC meetings, Iraqi National
Security Adviser Rubaie discussed six issues of importance
with Under Secretary Jeffery, requesting USG input on each.
Embassy Baghdad is requested to provide a status report for E
on post,s response to Rubaie.

4. (U) Washington agencies look forward to further progress
updates from Embassy Baghdad, and is ready and willing to
provide the assistance necessary to continue moving forward
in the USG,s bilateral relationship with the GOI.
RICE

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