Cablegate: Demarche to Canada On Special 301 Out-of-Cycle

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

211624Z Sep 05





E.O. 12958: N/A


1. On September 20, Econoffs met with officials of
International Trade Canada's (ITCan) Intellectual Property
Division to discuss the plan of action for Canada's upcoming
Special 301 out-of-cycle review (reftel). After reciting
their usual criticism of the Special 301 process in general,
the Canadians' primary objections were that the plan of
action does not seem to give them credit for progress already
made and that the tone of the plan is too 'one-way' and
dictatorial. ITCan emphasized again that it will be easier
to motivate Canadian officials and policy-makers if the
out-of-cycle review is couched in terms of bilateral
team-work and the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP).
ITCan fears that a document such as the plan of action, if
made public, would have the result of offending the very
officials USTR hopes will make progress on Intellectual
Property Rights (IPR) protection.

2. "The more I read the more (annoyed) I get" was the
reaction of our main ITCan interlocutor. With the caveat
that an official response would have to wait until they have
had time to read the plan of action in detail, ITCan gave an
initial negative feedback on the overall tone of the plan.
In the interests of bilateral relations, and in recognition
of the fact that certain U.S. and Canadian agencies have
stepped up cooperation on IPR protection (for example the
recent Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Canada Border
Services Agency visit to DHS headquarters), Embassy believes
it would be helpful to phrase the plan of action more in
terms of cooperation than censure.

3. The Canadians were quite concerned about the text of the
upcoming Federal Register notice, and they requested advance
notice of the timing and the text of the notice so that they
can prepare International Trade Minister Peterson for damage
control. We have since given ITCan the draft text provided
by USTR (comment: According to USTR, the draft text as
submitted to the Federal Register reads: "On April 30, 2005,
USTR announced the results of the 2005 Special 301 review and
stated that Out-of-Cycle Reviews (OCRs) would be conducted
for Russia, Canada, Indonesia and the Philippines. USTR will
conduct these OCRs in early 2005. USTR requests written
comments from the public concerning the acts, policies, and
practices relevant for this review under Section 182 of the
Trade Act." End comment.)

4. On the subject of a U.S.-Canada IPR working group (reftel
paragraph 5), ITCan officials noted their IPR efforts in a
number of fora, suggesting that they are approaching
'working-group overload'. ITCan suggested that a working
group with minimal administrative requirements (possibly
formed on the edges of SPP or other already-scheduled
meetings) would be helpful to them. (Comment: A 'virtual
working group', utilizing digital video conference technology
and email, might be a potential alternative. End comment.)

5. We have requested more detailed feedback on the plan of
action from ITCan and other members of the Canadian working
group on IPR and will pass any comments on to USTR and the
desk when we receive them.

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