Cablegate: Intellectual Property: Members of Congress Pledge
DE RUEHSG #1088/01 3471115
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 121115Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4101
INFO RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
UNCLAS SANTIAGO 001088
STATE PLEASE PASS TO USTR KATE DUCKWORTH
STATE FOR WHA/EPSC, EEB/TPP/BTA/EWH, EEB/TPP/MTA/IPC
TREASURY FOR SSENICH
COMMERCE FOR KMANN
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD KIPR PREL CI
SUBJECT: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY: MEMBERS OF CONGRESS PLEDGE
ASSISTANCE IN FULFILLING FTA COMMITMENTS
REF: SANTIAGO 1045
1. (SBU) SUMMARY: The Ambassador and Embassy officials met with
several members of Chile's Congress, December 2, to press for
progress on implementation of Chile's intellectual property rights
(IPR) commitments under the U.S. - Chile Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
The Senate Economic Committee took note of U.S. concerns about IPR
enforcement and the importance of accelerating consideration of the
draft Copyright Law. Senator Sergio Romero promised to provide
support for expediting approval of the copyright bill within the
Senate. Deputy Fuentealba noted the Foreign Affairs Committee,
which he chairs, was not handling IPR-related legislation, but he
offered to host a joint-seminar with the Embassy on the status of
Chile's FTA commitments. END SUMMARY.
2. (U) On December 2, Ambassador, Econoff, and Econ Specialist met
with members of the Senate Economic Committee at the Congress
Building in Valparaiso. The Committee members included: Senator
Fernando Flores (Chile Primero), Senator Jose Garcia (National
Renewal-RN), Senator Jovino Novoa (Independent Democratic
Union-UDI), and Senator Hosain Sabag (Christian Democrats-DC). The
Ambassador also met separately with Senator Sergio Romero (RN),
former President of the Senate and now Chairman of the Senate
Committee on Rules, and Deputy Renan Fuentealba (DC), Chairman of
the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Chamber of Deputies.
Economy Committee Notes U.S. Concerns
3. (SBU) The Ambassador told the Economy Committee the U.S. and
Chile both wanted the FTA to be a continuing success. It had
already accounted for $17 billion in annual bilateral trade.
However, Chile needed to make more progress on implementing its IPR
commitments under the FTA. The Ambassador thanked the Senators for
passing the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) in October, passing the
Illegal Commerce and Piracy Law, and sending it to the Chamber of
Deputies for approval. The draft Copyright Law had been under
consideration in the Senate for more than a year (October 2007), had
over 250 proposed amendments, and had already been approved by the
Chamber of Deputies. The Ambassador asked the Committee members to
accelerate consideration of the Copyright Law. He said the bill
included important provisions that would help Chile meet its IPR
obligations, such as regulations on internet service providers.
4. (SBU) The Committee took note of the Ambassador's concerns and
request. Senator Flores asked for the U.S. position on the key
issues in the Copyright Law, underlining the divergent points of
view in Chile on IPR. The Ambassador said we had met with DIRECON
DG Carlos Furche November 25 and provided U.S. input on the
Copyright Law. In addition, DIRECON had previously received input
from USTR on various provisions in the draft legislation. The
Ambassador stressed Chile had a responsibility to fulfill its
commitments under the FTA.
5. (SBU) Senator Novoa asked if the FTA provided for a Parliamentary
Committee. The Ambassador explained there was no such provision.
Most issues regarding implementation were discussed directly by USTR
and DIRECON. The Labor and Environment Chapters of the FTA provided
for separate coordinating meetings. Senator Garcia wondered if
there would be new obligations for Chile in the future on Labor,
Environment, or IPR. The Ambassador noted this was unlikely given
the progress made on implementing most chapters, save IPR. The IPR
Chapter of the FTA was designed to bring Chile's standards up to the
same level as in Mexico, Singapore, the EU, and other major U.S.
Senator Romero Offers Assistance
6. (SBU) The Ambassador told Senator Romero he was meeting with
members of Congress to reiterate U.S. support for the FTA and stress
the need for progress on Chile's IPR commitments. He noted that in
general the FTA was a great success for Chile and the U.S. The
Labor and Environment Chapters had evinced important cooperation
between both countries. However, the U.S. had not seen the progress
it wanted in Chile's implementation of its IPR obligations.
7. (SBU) Highlighting the Senate's work on draft IPR-related
legislation, the Ambassador noted the status of the Copyright Law.
He asked if the Senate could speed consideration of the bill. This
would help fulfill some of Chile's IPR obligations. DG Furche had
told the Ambassador November 25 the GOC would ask Congress to assign
priority status (urgencia) to the Copyright Law. This could help
secure more rapid approval. Romero explained changing the priority
of the draft law would be key. He suggested the Ambassador meet
with the Secretary General of the Presidency, Jose Antonio
Viera-Gallo, to discuss the issue. The Ambassador has a meeting
scheduled with Viera-Gallo for December 15. If the GOC raised the
priority of the bill and pushed for passage in January, the effort
might succeed prior to the impending summer vacation period. In the
meantime, Romero promised to do what he could within the Senate to
push for quick passage of the law.
Deputy Fuentealba Offers Joint-Seminar
8. (SBU) The Ambassador thanked Deputy Fuentealba for Congress'
assistance in passing important IPR-related legislation, such as the
PCT. This would assist Chile in meeting its IPR commitments under
the FTA. He noted the Copyright Law was still pending in the
Senate, despite its approval by the Chamber of Deputies.
Fuentealba said the Congress was aware of the FTA's importance and
would do all it could to see Chile complied with its obligations.
9. (SBU) Fuentealba noted the Foreign Affairs Committee, which he
chaired, was not handling most IPR-related legislation. He offered
to host a joint-seminar with the Embassy on the status of Chile's
compliance with the FTA. The seminar could be held in Santiago and
in one of Chile's regions, in March. It could devote an entire
segment to IPR-related issues. Fuentealba thought it could show the
new U.S. Administration Chile's commitment to full implementation of
the FTA. The Ambassador expressed interest in the idea, but noted
coordination with DIRECON would be necessary.