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Cablegate: Goa Movement On Doha Unlikely Pending Elections

VZCZCXYZ0005
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #1363 1981323
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 171323Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8656
INFO RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE USD FAS WASHINGTON DC
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 6366
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 6586
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 0593
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 6223
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ JUL CARACAS 1359
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 3421
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 2270

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001363

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

PASS USTR FOR KATHERINE DUCKWORTH AND MARY SULLIVAN
PASS FED BOARD OF GOVERNORS FOR PATRICE ROBITAILLE
TREASURY FOR ROSELLEN ALBANO
USDOC FOR 4322/ITA/MAC/OLAC/PEACHER
US SOUTHCOM FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD ECON PREL EU AR
SUBJECT: GOA MOVEMENT ON DOHA UNLIKELY PENDING ELECTIONS


-------
Summary
-------

1. (SBU) The EU Mission in Argentina sees little potential before
October presidential elections for the GoA to support a Doha deal
that cuts NAMA tariffs. Post shares that view. The GoA trade
negotiator says Argentina counseled Brazil and India to walk out of
the Potsdam G-4 meeting; that Argentina prefers no deal to "a bad
one"; and that a Doha round failure will not cause Argentina
significant harm. End Summary.

2. (SBU) Ambassador Gustavo Martin Prada, head of the EU Mission in
Argentina, commented to Ambassador July 14 on the status of the Doha
Round and Argentina's position in the negotiations. Based on his
conversations with GoA officials and private observers, Martin Prada
has concluded the GoA's perceived need to protect Argentina's
developing industrial sector allows it little or no leeway in
reducing NAMA (industrial) tariffs before the presidential elections
at the end of October. EU Ambassador and Ambassador agreed that
high agricultural commodity prices give the GoA a cushion in the
near term and that the GoA wants to assure the support of the
industrial sector by hanging tough on NAMA.

3. (SBU) Separately, in an interview published July 15 in
Argentina's largest circulation daily, Clarin, Foreign Ministry
Secretary (U/S equivalent, and the GoA's lead WTO negotiator) for

SIPDIS
Foreign Trade Alfredo Chiaradia supported Ambassador Martin Prada's
conclusion. For Chiaradia, while strengthening the WTO remains a
priority, the Argentine bottom line is that they "prefer not to have
a deal than to sign a bad one." On Brazil and India walking out of
the G-4 meeting in Potsdam June 21, Chiaradia said that "we
counseled them to do so." He also stated that failure of the Doha
round would not necessarily lead to greater protectionism and "there
is no reason to think that if there is no agreement, there will be
great or irreversible damage" to Argentina.

-------
Comment
-------

4. (SBU) Trade liberalization, like most other potentially
controversial economic policy issues, has been back-burnered by the
GoA during the run-up to October 2007 Presidential elections. GoA
trade contacts at the Foreign and Economy Ministries tell us that
that any Doha proposal that does not substantially cut US and EU
agricultural subsidies will be impossible to sell domestically in
the current political environment. At a time when the current
administration is concerned with maximizing support prior to
presidential elections in October, the political risk for the GoA
lies in making a deal that alienates key sectors needed to support
Presidential candidate Christina Kirchner.

5. (U) To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our classified
website at: http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/buenosaires.< /a>

WAYNE

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