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Cablegate: Minister of Commerce Presses Case for Tariff Rate

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

UNCLAS MAPUTO 001628

SIPDIS
STATE FOR AF/S
STATE PASS USTR FOR PATRICK COLEMAN AND AUSTR LISER
USDOC FOR RTELCHIN
PRETORIA FOR USDA/FAS
SENSITIVE
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD EAGR ECON MZ
SUBJECT: MINISTER OF COMMERCE PRESSES CASE FOR TARIFF RATE
QUOTA ON TOBACCO


SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED - DELIBERATIVE PROCESS
REF: MAPUTO 01502
Action request in Paragraph Four

1. (SBU) On December 16, Ambassador La Lime met with GRM
Minister of Industry and Commerce Carlos Morgado at
Morgado's request to discuss the Mozambican government's
October 14 request for tariff rate quota on several
varieties of tobacco (request letter text in reftel). The
Minister referenced the steep drop in tobacco production in
Zimbabwe, and inquired about the possibility of transferring
TRQ to Mozambique. He also asked for a formal response from
the USG to the five specific requests posed in the October
letter. Morgado emphasized the development impact of the
country's tobacco industry and stressed the importance the
government placed on this issue.

2. (SBU) The GRM has made the request because of the rapid
increase in tobacco production over the last few years, with
backing by U.S.-owned companies. In particular, Universal
Leaf Tobacco has dramatically increased production of flue-
cured and burley tobacco in Mozambique, and is in the
process of completing a factory in Tete province with the
capacity to process 37,000 tons of tobacco in the 2005
harvest season. Another American company, Dimon, Inc.,
plans to start construction of a tobacco processing plant in
another province next year.

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3. (SBU) Comment: The Minister's decision to raise the issue
with the Ambassador elevates the profile of the issue,
indicating that this is not just a major issue for American
tobacco companies, but for the Mozambican government in
general. End Comment.

4. (U) Action Request: Post requests a response we can share
with Minister Morgado to the request reported in reftel.
LA LIME

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