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Cablegate: Wto Doha Round : After Geneva, French Agricultural Officers

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Lucia A Keegan 07/12/2006 05:16:52 PM From DB/Inbox: Lucia A Keegan

Cable
Text:


UNCLAS SENSITIVE PARIS 04765

SIPDIS
cxparis:
ACTION: AGR
INFO: UNESCO SCI POL ECNO DCM AMB ECON TRDO

DISSEMINATION: AGRX
CHARGE: PROG

APPROVED: AGR: EBERRY
DRAFTED: AGR: XAUDRAN
CLEARED: AGR: EBERRY EMIN : TWHITE

VZCZCFRI566
RR RUEHC RUEHRC RUCNMEM RUEHMRE RUEHSR RUEHGV
RHEHAAA
DE RUEHFR #4765 1931317
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 121317Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9451
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES
RUEHMRE/AMCONSUL MARSEILLE 1212
RUEHSR/AMCONSUL STRASBOURG 0134
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2441
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC

UNCLAS PARIS 004765

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

BRUSSELS PASS USEU FOR AGMINCOUNSELOR
STATE FOR OES; EUR/ERA AND EBB ;
STATE PASS USTR FOR MURPHY;
USDA/OS/JOHANNS/PENN AND TERPSTRA;
USDA/FAS FOR OA/YOST/ROBERTS;
ITP/SHEIKH/MACKE/TOM POMEROY/MIKE WOOLSEY/GREG YOUNG;
FAA/SEBRANEK;
EU POSTS PASS TO AGRICULTURE AND ECON
GENEVA FOR USTR, ALSO AGRICULTURE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR ETRD EU FR

SUBJECT: WTO DOHA ROUND : AFTER GENEVA, FRENCH AGRICULTURAL OFFICERS
CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED. NOT FOR INTERNET

1. (SBU) In recent meetings with Agricultural Minister-Counselor,
French Ministry of Agriculture officials stressed that they still
expect a positive outcome of the Doha round of trade negotiations,
despite the recent meeting in Geneva. In fact, they acknowledged
that they are now more optimistic than before the meeting. They
highlighted positive movement from Brazil but emphasized that they
still expect more movement from other G20 countries. Trade Minister
Lagarde and staff are not expressing similar optimism.

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2. (SBU) France believes that a positive outcome could result from
Pascal Lamy's active diplomacy. However, French officials fear that
Pascal Lamy's triangular (Market Access / Domestic Support / NAMA)
approach may be too simplistic as it excludes important issues such
as Geographic Indications (GI)and other export support such as food
aid. They also pointed out that Lamy does not have a mandate from
the WTO to propose a deal in a similar way to the Dunkel proposal of
1993-94. French officials were aware of meetings in Russia prior to
the G8 summit but do not expect any definite outcome from them.

3. (SBU) French agricultural officials who attended the Geneva
meeting felt that Brazil was ready to propose something but that the
United States was reluctant to move forward on domestic support.
They mentioned that they were aware of the U.S. political agenda
with upcoming mid-term elections. They also stressed that the
Commission has already reached the limit of its negotiating mandate
and that Commissioner Mandelsohn should not -quote- cross the red
line -end quote-. French officials reiterated that France would be
ready to veto an agreement which does not address NAMA issues.
France also has strong support from other EU countries (such as
Italy, Germany and Spain) on GI issues. In fact, French officials
stated that including GI issues should be a pre-requisite for any
agreement.

4. (SBU) France is not opposed to (but does notspecifically request)
a peace clause but understands U.S. concerns on this issue (they
deem the EU to be less vulnerable than the U.S. on domestic support
due to decoupling under CAP reform.) French officials agreed that
good faith would be needed after an agreement is reached and would
support the United States in its demand for a peace clause.

5. (SBU) French agricultural officials' comments contrast with a
more pessimistic view voiced by Trade Minister Christine Lagarde and
advisors in discussions with Ambassador and Economic
Minister-Counselor over the past few days. In several private
comments on the margins of a weekend economic conference, Lagarde
expressed concern over WTO Director General Pascal Lamy's recent
assertion of the need to "crack heads together", noting that that
large differences that still exist, especially between the
industrialized West and the G20, require expert mediation, not head
cracking. A Lagarde technical advisor told ECMIN July 10 that
France's agriculture "red lines", U.S. reluctance to move
sufficiently on domestic agricultural supports, and continued
inadequate offers from the G20 on NAMA and services did not auger
well for agreement in the short time that remains.

6. (SBU) COMMENT. The GOF remains engaged with Brussels on the EU
negotiating position. (Lagarde was scheduled to meet in Brussels
with EU Trade Commissioner Mandelsohn on July 11.) However,
France's tough stance on agriculture remains an important obstacle.
We suspect that the upbeat assessment of French agricultural
officials may reflect their view that no WTO agreement is just as
acceptable politically as a positive WTO outcome. END COMMENT.
Stapleton

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