Cablegate: Brazil On Trade Elements of Unctad Declaration

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. (U) Econoff delivered reftel talking points on March 10
to Piragibe Tarrago, Chief of the Economics Department within
Brazil's Foreign Ministry, Itamaraty. Tarrago's Department
has the lead on trade-related aspects of the UNCTAD
declaration; he also reports directly to Ambassador Hugueney,
Brazil's lead WTO negotiator. After explaining USG concerns,
Econoff left a copy of the March 4 non-paper with Tarrago.
Also accompanying Tarrago was George Marques, an official
identified as the contact for issues relating to the trade
text. Marques works in the Economics Department division
dealing with economic organizations and can be contacted at; or 55-61-411-6912/6913; he speaks English.

2. (U) Tarrago claimed that Brazil appreciates the sensitive
nature of the WTO Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations
at this time and shares USG interest in ensuring that
preparation for the XI UNCTAD conference does not create an
environment that inflames that trade debate. Tarrago
admitted that the timing was "unfortunate," noting that the
UNCTAD conference is in June and the current target for
completing DDA frameworks is July. He said that when the
UNCTAD conference was scheduled, the expectation was that the
DDA negotiations would have progressed much further by now.

3. (U) Although Brazil shares USG interest in ensuring that
the UNCTAD conference does not interfere with the DDA
negotiations, the GOB does not think the current text should
present major problems in this way. Tarrago characterized
UNCTAD as a think-tank organization whose role is to reflect
in a more academic way on how trade impacts development, and
to provide countries with useful information to help them
gain the most from this connection. Included in this debate
would naturally be discussion of national policies, as well
as a discussion of how international trade rules impact
countries' abilities to obtain trade benefits. He noted that
WTO rules are necessarily an essential element of this

4. (U) Tarrago suggested that problems in the declaration
text could be resolved through redrafting; Econoff explained
the USG approach of organizing the text around three themes,
eliminating certain proposed paragraphs, and the USG view
that an exercise of redrafting the problematic paragraphs
would be counterproductive because it would likely lead to a
protracted and acrimonious debate. Econoff noted that the
USG does think it appropriate to include a general statement
in support of the DDA negotiations.

5. (U) Tarrago pointed out that institutionally UNCTAD has
no power over the WTO so it cannot "renegotiate" or
"reinterpret" the Doha mandate. However, he also seemed to
acknowledge the point that institutional aspects aside, an
UNCTAD ministerial declaration with text that can be
interpreted as calling for a change in the Doha mandate would
complicate the DDA negotiating environment.

6. (U) Tarrago concluded by emphasizing that the GOB does
not want the UNCTAD conference and/or declaration to
undermine the DDA negotiations. He assured Econoff that the
GOB will consider USG concerns in deciding how to approach
the UNCTAD declaration text.


7. (U) In responding to Econoff's inquiry, Tarrago clarified
reports concerning the launch of South-South free trade
negotiations during the UNCTAD conference. He said that
discussions are on-going in Geneva with the aim of being able
to officially announce at the UNCTAD conference the launching
of trade preference (not free trade) negotiations, within the
Generalized System of Preferences framework, for interested
countries. (Note, the GOB expects to finalize the
India-Mercosul Preferential Trade Agreement by June 30 and
may well take advantage of the UNCTAD conference to showcase
the agreement as a model.)


8. (SBU) Tarrago reported that the GOB is considering trying
to organize a DDA mini-Ministerial to take place in Sao
Paulo, Brazil, coinciding with the XI UNCTAD conference. He
noted that a decision will depend on progress in DDA talks in
Geneva, and that USTR Zoellick would be invited to attend
should the GOB decide to convene such a meeting.
9. (SBU) Comment. Since UNCTAD's Secretary General is
Brazilian Ambassador Rubens Ricupero the GOB has a special
relationship with the organization at this time, which may
constrain GOB flexibility on the declaration text.
Nonetheless, while Brazil is keen to demonstrate leadership
on developing country issues in both the WTO (G-20) and
UNCTAD fora, post believes that the GOB's main interest lies
in achieving gains within the WTO. If progress in the WTO
DDA negotiations clearly appears to be threatened by the
preparatory discussions for the XI UNCTAD conference, we
would expect the GOB to adopt a pragmatic approach toward the
UNCTAD declaration. End Comment.

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