Search

 

Cablegate: Vietnamese Response to Demarche Re U.S.-Asean Trade And

VZCZCXRO5023
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHHI #2013 2211009
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 091009Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2997
INFO RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY 1618
RUEHZS/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS HANOI 002013

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MLS AND EB/TPP/BTA/ANA
STATE PASS USTR FOR B.WEISEL, J.JENSEN and D.KATZ

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD VM
SUBJECT: VIETNAMESE RESPONSE TO DEMARCHE RE U.S.-ASEAN TRADE AND
INVESTMENT FRAMEWORK ARRANGEMENT (TIFA)


SENSITIVE - DO NOT POST ON INTERNET

REF: STATE 126674

1. (SBU) Summary: Post delivered reftel demarche to the Ministry of
Trade (MOT) by fax on August 4 and followed up with a meeting on
August 7 to obtain a preliminary response. The head of the ASEAN
office welcomed the USG proposal, but expressed some concerns about
the language on labor and on providing for an ongoing mechanism for
cooperation in Section Five. He also emphasized that Vietnam wanted
the TIFA to be a step towards an eventual FTA and asked how making
the TIFA non-binding would affect that process. The MOT must still
vet the U.S. proposal with relevant Ministries and gain the Prime
Minister's approval before giving any definitive response. End
summary.

2. (SBU) Econoff delivered the demarche and draft text of the
proposed TIFA to the Multilateral Department at the Ministry of
Trade on August 4 and followed up with a meeting on August 7 with
Bui Huy Son, recently promoted to Director General for ASEAN
Economic Integration. Mr. Son expressed appreciation for the U.S.
proposal, saying that it was very timely since the MOT would need to
clear the U.S. proposal with all relevant Ministries (Ministry of
Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Labor, Invalids
and Social Affairs, and Ministry of Science and Technology) before
seeking approval from the Prime Minister. He noted that timing was
tight to obtain all necessary clearances before the Ministerial
August 24-25 and indicated that it would be helpful for Econoff to
contact other Ministries directly. (Note: Post is sending copies of
the demarche to the other Ministries and will follow up as
appropriate. End note.)

3. (SBU) Although welcoming the new U.S. draft, Son said that his
preliminary analysis raised some concerns:

-- Change to non-binding status: Son said that Vietnam had
supported the original TIFA because Vietnam is looking forward to an
eventual Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States and had
understood that U.S. policy requires that a TIFA precede an FTA. He
asked whether a non-binding TIFA would satisfy the U.S. requirement
or whether some further step would be required before moving on to
an FTA. Were there cases of other countries moving from a
non-binding TIFA (or no TIFA) to an FTA?

-- Labor language: Son pointed out that neither Vietnam nor Laos
are members of the WTO, however, he conceded that Vietnam could
accept the reference to WTO declarations with the expectation that
it would soon become a member. He said that the phrase
"internationally recognized standards" was not clear and suggested
dropping it. He also suggested that the phrase "providing adequate
and effective protection" included the concept of enforcement and so
the phrase "and enforcement" should be dropped.

-- Section Five, paragraph three: Son explained that "existing
mechanisms" and "working groups" in paragraph two did not cover an
ongoing mechanism for cooperation with the United States, so if
paragraph three is to be dropped, paragraph two should be rephrased
to provide for such a mechanism.

4. (SBU) Son said that he was just providing a preliminary response
and the Ministry of Trade would have to coordinate with other
Ministries and consult with other ASEAN countries. He asked if the
United States had a tentative agenda for coordinating agreement on
the text at the Kuala Lumpur Ministerial.

MARINE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

OECD: COVID-19 Crisis Puts Migration And Progress On Integration At Risk, Says

Watch the live webcast of the press conference Migration flows have increased over the past decade and some progress has been made to improve the integration of immigrants in the host countries. But some of these gains may be erased by the COVID-19 pandemic ... More>>


Pacific Media Watch: How Pacific Environmental Defenders Are Coping With The Covid Pandemic

SPECIAL REPORT: By Sri Krishnamurthi of Pacific Media Watch Pacific Climate Warriors - creative action to trigger better responses to climate crisis. Image: ... More>>

Reporters Without Borders: Julian Assange’s Extradition Hearing Marred By Barriers To Open Justice

After monitoring four weeks of evidence in the US extradition proceedings against Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates concern regarding the targeting of Assange for his contributions to journalism, and calls ... More>>

OHCHR: Stranded Migrants Need Safe And Dignified Return – UN Migrant Workers Committee

The UN Committee on Migrant Workers has today called on governments to take immediate action to address the inhumane conditions of migrant workers who are stranded in detention camps and ensure they can have an orderly, safe and dignified return to ... More>>