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Cablegate: Widespread Interest in Us Crop Insurance Programs

VZCZCXRO0483
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV
DE RUEHFR #7724 3421456
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 081456Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3661
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES
RUEHMRE/AMCONSUL MARSEILLE 1463
RUEHSR/AMCONSUL STRASBOURG 0269
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2547

UNCLAS PARIS 007724

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

BRUSSELS PASS USEU FOR AGMINCOUNSELOR
STATE FOR OES; EUR/ERA AND EB;
STATE PASS USTR FOR MURPHY;
USDA/OS/JOHANNS AND TERPSTRA;
USDA/FAS FOR OA/YOST/MILLER;
OCRA/ROBERT CURTIS;
OTA/GREGG YOUNG;
OFSO/DAVID YOUNG;
USDA/RMA FOR ELDON GOULD AND JAMES CALLAN
EU POSTS PASS TO AGRICULTURE AND ECON
GENEVA FOR USTR, ALSO AGRICULTURE

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

SUBJECT: Widespread interest in US crop insurance programs


1. Summary: James Callan, Associate Administrator, Risk Management
Agency, USDA, visited Paris November 13 and 14 and met with
representatives from various agricultural sectors and French
parliamentarians to discuss the US crop insurance program. All
interlocutors expressed strong interest in US crop insurance
programs as a method of risk management. End Summary

2. France has a small, but growing, crop insurance program (see FAS
Paris GAIN Report FR6070). In anticipation of the 2008 EU CAP review
and 2013 reform, French policy makers are open to considering new
methods of providing income support to farmers and reducing the
financial burden to the state-funded disaster fund. Large French
insurance companies are also favorable to the crop and income
insurance market as a potential new market.

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3. Parliamentarians from both the National Assembly and the Senate
showed particular interest in US pilot insurance programs covering
livestock production and forage crop risks as these are already
underway in France as well. They were also keen to discuss how
subsidies to U.S. crop insurance programs are classified relative to
the WTO "boxes".

4. Mr. Callan also made a well-received presentation to the Societe
des Agriculteurs de France, an influential French farmers' think
tank. The audience included farm leaders, academics, insurance
industry representatives and journalists. His presentation was
followed by a lengthy Q&A session indicating the audience's interest
in this subject. The weekly newsletter, AGRAPRESSE, widely read in
the French farm sector, published a positive report on Mr. Callan's
conference.

5. FAS Paris will continue monitoring the development of crop
insurance programs in France as well as policy makers' initiatives
on these issues. FAS Paris supports bringing more U.S. crop
insurance experts to France, once the 2007 farm bill is finalized,
and in advance of the EU's 2008 "health check" of the CAP.

6. Comment: The French, from President Chirac down, are resistant
to the Commission 2008 "Health Check" initiative. However, at the
same time, they would very much like to have an insurance program
that appears more as a safety net. This enticement may help bring
them to the table. End Comment.


Stapleton

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