Cablegate: Ambassador Presses Trade Minister On Ipr
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 005385
STATE FOR EB AND EUR/SE
TREASURY FOR OASIA
DEPT PLEASE PASS USTR FOR LERRION
FAS FOR ITP/THORBURN
USDOC FOR ITA/MAC/DDEFALCO
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD EAGR KIPR PREL TU
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR PRESSES TRADE MINISTER ON IPR
Ref: STATE 180202
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED. PLEASE HANDLE ACCORDINGLY.
1. (U) This cable contains an action request. See para
2. (SBU) In a September 17 meeting with State Minister
Kursad Tuzmen, the Ambassador raised intellectual
property rights, barriers to importing distilled
spirits and rice (septel), scheduling a Trade and
Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) meeting and
trucker security in Iraq (septel). Tuzmen raised
Turkish automaker Tofas' desire to purchase a General
Motors powertrain assembly line with the aim of
exporting powertrains to Iran. End Summary.
3. (U) The Ambassador noted that the U.S. Patent and
Trademark Office and the Turkish Ministry of Justice
had jointly organized a successful conference on IPR
enforcement the previous week. He urged that Turkish
companies, particularly apparel firms for which
trademarks/brand recognition are increasingly important
in Turkey and abroad, see IPR protection as a priority.
4. (SBU) The Ambassador raised lack of data exclusivity
protection for pharmaceuticals companies as an area in
which Turkey is not carrying out its WTO TRIPS
obligations. This was the leading U.S. concern
motivating a decision to elevate Turkey to Priority
Watch List status in this year's Special 301 process.
The Ambassador added that lack of data exclusivity,
along with other problems facing research-based
companies, could force those firms to choose not to
release innovative drugs in Turkey, with a major impact
on health care.
5. (SBU) Tuzmen responded that the Special 301 decision
was unjustified, and that Turkey applied strong
standards in IPR.
6. (SBU) Tuzmen noted Turkey's interest in expanding
trade with neighboring countries, and in this
connection raised Turkish automaker Tofas' desire to
purchase a General Motors powertrain assembly line with
the aim of exporting powertrains to Iran.
7. (SBU) The Ambassador responded that we understand
Turkey's desire to export more to neighboring
countries, and that, with respect to Iraq, we fully
support Turkey's aspirations. He noted that with
regard to Syria and Iran, the situation was more
complex. The U.S. had concerns about the policies
pursued by both countries and U.S. sanctions on Syria
and Iran were in place as the Minister was well aware.
The Ambassador stated that the Embassy would check the
status of GM's application to the U.S. Treasury for
permission to sell the equipment to TOFAS, and provide
an update to the Foreign Trade Undersecretariat.
8. (U) The Ambassador told Tuzmen that we view the TIFA
as a useful vehicle for discussing these and other
trade and investment issues with Turkey, and noted that
the Foreign Trade Undersecretary (FTU) had not made a
concrete counterproposal to our proposed date in
October. Tuzmen responded that FTU Kayalar's calendar
is packed for the next several months, and suggested
that a TIFA could be held sometime in January or
9. (U) Action Request: Please advise current status of
GM's application to Treasury on the TOFAS case.