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Cablegate: Costa Rica Response - Whto Igwg Anti-Ip Proposals

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSJ #1689 2541755
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 111755Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8847
INFO RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0314
RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SAN JOSE 001689

SIPDIS

PASS TO EEB, RACHEL WALLACE AND LINDA RECHT
PASS TO IO
STATE PASS TO USTR

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON KIPR ETRD WTRO CR
SUBJECT: COSTA RICA RESPONSE - WHTO IGWG ANTI-IP PROPOSALS

REF: SECSTATE 121503

1. (SBU) On September 7, 2007, EmbOffs met with Gabriela Castro and
Susana Vasquez at Costa Rica's Ministry of Commerce and Trade
(COMEX) to discuss the Costa Rican response to reftel's message.
The COMEX officials said that due to the upcoming referendum to
ratify Costa Rica's participation in the Central American Free Trade
Agreement (CAFTA-DR), the GOCR needed to be very careful in
addressing delicate trade issues in the weeks before the October 7
vote. Continual polling shows that Costa Ricans opposed to the
trade deal list the perceived negative impact of CAFTA-DR on health
care in the country as a prominent reason why they will vote against
the deal. Due to the sensitive nature of this IPR issue, the COMEX
officials do not believe the GOCR will take any action that could
bring attention to this issue prior to the referendum.

2. (SBU) Castro said that this request comes at a time when COMEX
trade experts are crashing on finalizing the legislation needed for
Costa Rica to fulfill its CAFTA-DR obligations. COMEX hopes to have
the legislation ready for the Costa Rican congress' approval
immediately after the October 7 referendum. COMEX officials
involved with preparing the legislation affecting IPR are traveling
to Washington D.C. the week of September 10 to conduct further
consultations with USTR on issues related to fully implementing
Costa Rica's CAFTA-DR obligations.

3. (U) The flurry of activity makes it even more difficult for
COMEX to sacrifice trade or IPR experts to travel to the Ottawa
meetings. However, Castro said that if Costa Rica can
satisfactorily complete consultations with USTR on IPR issues during
the upcoming trip to Washington D.C., the GOCR can "think about
achieving a common perspective on the WHO issue and sending a COMEX
trade official with the Ministry of Health delegation to the
upcoming September 20-21 meetings."

4. (U) COMMENT: Although we would certainly not want to encourage
the creation of campaign points for the "No" campaign, Post believes
that COMEX participation in the IGWG meeting would not create an
issue that is sufficiently high profile to warrant attention by the
Costa Rican public. Nonetheless, we also believe that the
likelihood of COMEX achieving its goal of wrapping up its
consultations prior to the October 7 referendum is unlikely. Thus,
it is unlikely that COMEX officials will travel to Ottawa.

LANGDALE

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