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Cablegate: U.S.-Eu Wine Negotiation:Spanish Concerns

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

UNCLAS MADRID 002618

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EB/TPP/ABT
STATE PASS TO USTR FOR MURPHY, BOMER
DEPT OF AGRICULTURE/FAS/ITP FOR SHEIKH, DYOUNG, POMEROY
DEPT OF AGRICULTURE/FAS/OA FOR TERPSTRA,
DEPT OF AGRICULTURE/FAS/FAA FOR BLEGGI
BRUSSELS PASS USEU FOR AG MINCOUNS
EU POSTS PASS TO AGRICULTURE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR ECON ETRD EU SP
SUBJECT: U.S.-EU WINE NEGOTIATION:SPANISH CONCERNS

REF: (A) BERLIN 2313 (B) STATE 127679 (C) 6/16/05
SCHONANDER-WILSON E-MAIL

1. EconOff met with Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade
Subdirector General for Agricultural Trade, Agustin Velilla
Sanz, on 7/12/05 to discuss ref (B). Velilla was reticent to
spell out the Spanish position; he prefaced his remarks by
saying there would be a common EU position, and that it was
not "fair play" for the U.S. to seek out individual country
positions. Having said that, he posited that there probably
would be an agreement, especially because the EU exports so
much more wine to the U.S. than the U.S. exports to the EU.
He reiterated (ref C) the Spanish view that the Title III
Article 6 1. U.S. commitment to "seek to change the legal
staus of the terms in Annex II" is too weak. Spanish
industry remains particularly concerned about the treatment
of sherry and malaga. Velilla noted that when Spain entered
the EU in 1986, Spanish producers of sparkling wines were
forced to drop the use of the semi-generic name of
"champagne". Sparkling wine producers call their product
"cava" now, and they are very successful. Velilla implied
U.S. producers should not be afraid of similar changes.
Velilla then went on to explain the EU position as being
heavily influenced, not so much by commercial considerations,
as by the EU's philosophical emphasis on geographical
indications.

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2. AgCouns met with Ministry of Agriculture Director General
Angel Luis Alvarez on 7/11/05 to discuss the wine agreement.
According to Alvarez, Spain is still considering its position
going into the 7/15/05 133 Committee meeting in Brussels. He
told AgCouns that Spain would likely support the agreement as
currently drafted, although he would not provide a commitment
that Spain would do so.
AGUIRRE

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