Cablegate: Amorim Briefs Congress On Cancun Ministerial

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. ECONFSN attended the September 17 presentation on
WTO issues by Brazil's Foreign Minister Celso Amorim to
the Chamber of Deputies Foreign Affairs Committee after
the FM's return from the 9/10-14 Cancun Ministerial.
This was FM Amorim's second appearance this month
before the Committee at the latter's invitation. His
tone was confident but restrained, with no hint of
triumphalism despite the many accolades to him from
deputies and parts of Brazil's media since Cancun's
denouement. Following are the main points addressed
during FM Amorim's 45-minute testimony followed by a 75-
minute Q and A session.

2. Points made:

-- It is too early for a complete detailed analysis of
the Cancun meeting, as the Brazilian delegation members
were still digesting the events and implications.

-- G22 genesis: in the past, the U.S. had aligned with
the Cairns Group versus the EU; this time the U.S. and
EU had come to Cancun with a joint defensive position.
Having Mexico as the conference leader and Singapore as
Ag facilitator helped allow the formation of the G22
(or, Amorim said, the G20+, as he expects more

-- The raising of Singapore issues by the conference
had caused a mutiny by India and "little-bitty"
("pequeninos") countries.

-- The WTO remains the legitimate, "non-replaceable"
forum in which Brazil should pursue its trade
interests. Amorim repeatedly stressed this point. He
also made clear that, in Brazil's view, Cancun was not
a failure, and the Doha Round negotiations are an
ongoing process which will not fade away. It is better
for Brazil that the Round "skid" for six months or even
a year so as to end up with a sufficient agreement than
to wait fifteen years for a new WTO round to give
desired results. He added that, although still not
ideal, the Conference's paper on agriculture at the end
of the event was better than the initial one.

-- The G20+ is a coalition only for agricultural
matters. A G20+ meeting is likely to be held at some
point, during which implications of the end of the
Peace Clause in December may be considered. After the
expiration of the Peace Clause there will be potential
WTO cases from which Brazil can benefit; however, said
Amorim, "rhetorical battle" should be avoided.

-- The coalition of the G20+ has brought more
equilibrium into the WTO. Given that the new group
represents 65% of the world's agricultural production
and about half of the planet's population, the group
has sufficient weight to negotiate with the U.S. and
EU. It did not split the "monolith" of the U.S. and
EU, but found some "cracks" between them representing
areas where advances can be made.

-- Amorim was not sure why the EU backed down over
Singapore issues and was willing to accept just one
Singapore issue being discussed.

-- Amorim said he did not believe the U.S. or the EU
would retaliate against Brazil for the latter's conduct
at Cancun. He said the issues involved are ones that
can be worked out in future negotiations. He mentioned
a timeframe of perhaps six months for negotiations on
agriculture to pick up again.

-- Asked about implications for ALCA, FM Amorim
declined to comment for the moment, on the grounds that
the subject needed a deeper assessment and that
anything he would say would be reported nationwide, as
the press was present in numbers. He simply noted that
one lesson had been learned by Brazil: if the agenda is
too heavy, negotiations become complicated. Amorim
made a comparison to flying an overweighted airplane,
and said he hoped other parties have learned the keep-
it-simple lesson as well.

-- Amorim likewise declined to respond to the question
of whether the U.S. strategy to pursue bilateral trade
agreements would weaken the G20+. He only commented
that countries considering negotiating bilaterally with
the U.S. should think carefully, because to negotiate
with a country that subsidizes its agricultural sector
raises the possibility of damaging one's own
agricultural sector.
-- Amorim also made a reference in the middle of his
speech to the EU being more protectionist than the U.S.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>

UN Report: Civilian Casualties Surged After Peace Talks Began In Afghanistan

Monitoring by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, and the UN Human Rights Office has revealed that despite a drop in civilians killed and injured overall in 2020 there was a rise in civilian casualties following the start of peace negotiations ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>

Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>

WeBeliev: Scoop In Conversation With Abhishek Sinha, Founder Of WeBeliev, An NZ Crowdfunding Platform

WeBeliev supports 17 SDGs, launching sector specific campaigns every month Q. What is WeBeliev and why did you start it? A. WeBeliev is a Singapore-registered crowdfunding platform aimed at fundraising for all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ... More>>