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Cablegate: Starting an Import Safety Dialogue with France

VZCZCXRO6080
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV
DE RUEHFR #3496 2331631
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 211631Z AUG 07 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9626
RUCPDOC/DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS PARIS 003496

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EEB/TPP/ABT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD ECON EFIN KIPR FR
SUBJECT: STARTING AN IMPORT SAFETY DIALOGUE WITH FRANCE

REF: STATE 114788

1. (U) Post shared reftel points on starting an import safety
dialogue with Sophie Hubert at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Directorate for the Americas (Office of North America), and with
Francis Amand, Head of Security and Regulations at the Ministry of
Economy and Finance's Directorate for Consumer Affairs and Fraud, on
August 21. We will follow up once our interlocutors have had the
opportunity to discuss the matter internally.

2. (U) The GOF is taking steps to show that it is engaged on this
issue at senior levels. On August 20 Minister of Economy, Finance
and Employment Christine Lagarde visited a shopping mall in suburban
Paris to highlight product safety concerns. Lagarde told the press
that France must not consider "country-by-country" boycotts of
products, but insisted that standards be respected, "particularly
for children's toys." Lagarde, accompanied by Secretary of State
for Consumer Affairs Luc Chatel, noted that in 2006 the Ministry of
Economy's Directorate General for Consumer Affairs and Fraud had
inspected more than 5000 toys, with over 18% having been deemed
hazardous and subsequently withdrawn from the French market.


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