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Cablegate: Czech Republic: No Significant Trade Agreement

VZCZCXYZ0016
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHPG #1234 2771451
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 041451Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY PRAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8060
INFO RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

UNCLAS PRAGUE 001234

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/NCE ERIC FICHTE, EB/TPP/MTA ELIZA KOCH
STATE PLEASE PASS USTR FOR BRUCE HIRSH
COMMERCE FOR TCC/4110 BEVERLY VAUGHAN
USDA/ITP/FAS CHUCK BERTSCH

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD EZ
SUBJECT: CZECH REPUBLIC: NO SIGNIFICANT TRADE AGREEMENT
COMPLIANCE CONCERNS

REF: STATE 152063

1. In almost all respects, the U.S. - Czech trade and
investment relationship operates smoothly and is reflected in
over $3 billion of U.S. FDI since 1993. Despite the broadly
positive trade and investment climate, U.S. companies in some
sectors continue to face barriers to entering the Czech
market, as described in the European Union portion of the
annual National Trade Estimate report. Judicial proceedings
of intellectual property rights violators are slow and
rulings often favor defendants. The Health Ministry's
reimbursement policy for prescription drugs gives special
treatment to domestic producers of generics. The public
tenders process is considered to be one of the most
nontransparent in Central Europe and plagued with bribery
scandals. American legal service providers also face some
limits in representing clients in Czech courts.

2. Trade and investment compliance issues are usually brought
to the embassy,s attention by industry representatives. The
Political-Economic Section cooperates with the Foreign
Commercial Service as well as the local American Chamber of
Commerce in monitoring compliance and responding to trade
barrier complaints. Issues of concern are regularly brought
to the attention of Czech policy makers during organized
events, such as meetings with government officials,
issue-driven roundtables, and official receptions. Commercial
Attache Erin Butler-Mueller is post's contact person for
trade compliance issues.
GRABER

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