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Cablegate: Response to Import Safety Request

VZCZCXYZ0020
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHQT #2223 2711847
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 281847Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY QUITO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7828
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA PRIORITY 6938
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS PRIORITY 2696
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ SEP 0735
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA PRIORITY 1967
RUEHGL/AMCONSUL GUAYAQUIL PRIORITY 2864
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC 0599

UNCLAS QUITO 002223

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR EEB/TPP/ABT PAUL SAXTON
TREASURY FOR MMALLOY AND MEWENS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD EAGR EC
SUBJECT: Response to Import Safety Request

REFTEL: State 114788

1. (U) This is a response cable to State 114788, regarding starting
an import safety dialogue with host countries.

2. (SBU) EconCouns raised the issue of an import safety dialogue
with Foreign Ministry Under Secretary for Trade Mentor Villagomez
and shared reftel's talking points. Villagomez undertook to review
the matter with his colleagues, but from his limited response it
appeared that he (and probably the GOE as a whole) had not
considered the safety of imported or exported products on a
comprehensive basis. He noted that the GOE might be interested in a
dialogue with the U.S. on import safety and that it might be a topic
that could be addressed in the forthcoming bilateral Economic
Dialogue. In particular, Villagomez wants to ensure that import
safety issues do not become an obstacle to Ecuadorian exports.

3. (U) Post also shared information on the import safety dialogue
with Corpei, Ecuador's public-private export promotion agency.
Ricardo Estrada, Executive President of Corpei, noted that Corpei
would be willing to host delegations for work on an import safety
dialogue and is willing to work with the GOE and USG on the issue.
He commented that Corpei is working on promoting traceability in
Ecuador, so that products can be traced all the way back to the
producer. He also noted that Corpei is working on a project with
the Inter-American Development Bank and APHIS to work on sanitary
and phytosanitary pest problems, which affect plant safety.

4. (U) In the food products area, the Ecuadorian health authority
has been working on a number of processes that would improve the
safety of exports. Over the past few years, the Ministry of Health
(MOH) has made efforts to design and implement a Good Manufacturing
Practices (GMP) system for low-acidified and acidified foods (such
as canned fruit and vegetables, and pouched tuna), with some support
from USDA and the Food and Drug Administration. However, in order to
be implemented, the system requires additional work and economic
resources. USDA officials have engaged in preliminary conversations
with the MOH regarding this topic with the aim of finding
opportunities for interagency cooperation. With the objective of
improving the implementation of quality control systems, the GOE is
working on issuing a law for the creation of a public-private
National Council for Quality (CONCAL).

JEWELL

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