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Cablegate: New Zealand Trade Minister's Reaction to Doha

VZCZCXRO0869
PP RUEHAG RUEHAP RUEHDE RUEHDF RUEHGI RUEHHM RUEHLZ RUEHMA RUEHMR
RUEHPA RUEHPB RUEHRN
DE RUEHWL #0237 2140423
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 010423Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5344
INFO RUEHSS/OECD POSTS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNWTO/WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 5223
RUEHNZ/AMCONSUL AUCKLAND PRIORITY 1710
RUEHDN/AMCONSUL SYDNEY PRIORITY 0700
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 0496

UNCLAS WELLINGTON 000237

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EEB, EAP/ANP, EAP/PD, STATE PASS TO USTR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD OPRC PREL WTRO NZ
SUBJECT: NEW ZEALAND TRADE MINISTER'S REACTION TO DOHA
OUTCOME

REF: STATE 81715

1. Action Request - see paragraph 5.

2. In a press release issued Wednesday (7-30), NZ Trade
Minister Goff said, "Despite substantial progress made across
a range of issues taking us closer to agreement than the
(DOHA) Round has ever been...differences of opinion between
the U.S. and India over a safeguard mechanism to protect
farmers in the developing world was unable to be resolved."
Goff went on to say, "while all countries are obliged to
pursue their legitimate national interests, it is equally
important that each sees that no country's real interests are
served by a failure to reach an outcome." Trying to keep
hope alive, he expounded further the same day in a radio
interview (RadioNZ) saying, "it doesn't mean the round has
failed but what it does mean is we won't achieve an outcome
to the round this year, which was a realistic expectation at
the start of the talks." Local press coverage has tried to
express the concerns of both developing and developed
nations' positions but the U.S. is featured as the developed
country party unable to reach compromise with India and other
developing countries seen as vulnerable to competition from
large foreign producers.

3. On Thursday (7-31), Econoff spoke with Trade Minister
Goff's Special Assistant, Catherine McIntosh (Goff en route
from Geneva) and delivered the provided talking points
(reftel) along with Ambassador Schwab's statement regarding
Doha. Econoff stressed that it is neither helpful nor
accurate to reduce the outcome solely to a disagreement
between the U.S. and India as Goff,s statement yesterday
appeared to do.

4. Econoff pointed out that some reportage like "The Press"
newspaper (Christchurch) in an article published Thursday
entitled "Free trade vital" attempted to better explain the
complexity of the situation. Econoff drew her attention to
the statement, "... they (China & India) were pitched not
against the U.S. and EU...but rather against Latin American
countries like Brazil & Uruguay which are seeking
opportunities for their highly efficient agricultural
exporters." While Econoff said that he recognized that this
statement was not a definitive rendition of events but used
it as an example of a more nuanced attempt to better explain
the dynamic in Geneva. Econoff also pointed out that shadow
Trade Spokesman Groser was quoted in the press as saying it's
not helpful to try and lay blame but continue efforts to
conclude the Round. Econoff said the Embassy would welcome
the opportunity to discuss this further with the Minister
when is back in office next Monday.

5. ACTION REQUEST. Embassy requests assistance from USTR,
EEB and Public Affairs in developing or identifying materials
to use with Minister Goff and to set the public record
straight. One option might be an OpEd, which might better
reflect events. Another possibility might be a DVC with
journalists and government trade officials. Embassy
appreciates any additional guidance on this topic.
McCORMICK

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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