Cablegate: Argentina Shows No Flexibility On Latest Doha Nama Text


DE RUEHBU #0989 2002126
R 182126Z JUL 08




E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Argentina Shows No Flexibility on Latest Doha NAMA Text

Refs: (A) Buenos Aires 962
(B) Buenos Aires 589
(C) 07 Buenos Aires 1899

1. (SBU) Public comments by Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana, as well
as press reports, indicate a growing divide between MERCOSUR members
Argentina and Brazil over their respective WTO Doha Development
Round (DDR) negotiating positions, despite a July 14 meeting in Rio
de Janeiro of MERCOSUR Foreign Ministers reportedly intended to
achieve a common position on the latest DDR agriculture and
non-agricultural market access (NAMA) draft texts. A GoA Foreign
Ministry press release issued after the meeting quotes Taiana saying
"We're not satisfied" with the latest July 10 NAMA draft, adding "We
have to work much harder to reach a balanced (NAMA) position." The
release also cites the need to recognize "the important contribution
that developing countries - like ours - are having on the (Doha)
Round." A July 13 editorial in leading Argentine daily La Nacion
contrasts Argentina's DDR stance to Brazil's gradual progress from
the "closed and solitary" position of Argentina to a more open

2. (SBU) A key difference between Argentina and Brazil DDR positions
is over how to allow individual developing country customs union
members additional flexibility to shield sensitive industries from
import tariff cuts. Brazil and the U.S. were two of twelve WTO
members who reach an accord in June on DDR customs union treatment;
the GoA calls the agreement unacceptable as it offers Argentina less
favorable treatment that do to other developing countries not in
customs unions. Argentine Foreign Ministry National Director of
Economic Negotiations Nestor Stancanelli said at the time that
Argentina needs to be able to shield 16.5% of its NAMA tariff lines
from cuts, with no restriction on volume of trade, as opposed to the
draft proposal which would allow them to shield 14% of tariff lines
and up to 19% of trade by volume.


3. (SBU) The Foreign Ministry's uncompromising press release echoes
recent private comments by Taiana to the Ambassador (Ref A) and
Argentina's DDR position remains essentially unchanged from its
position on earlier draft texts (Refs B, C). As Argentina's economy
shows increasing evidence of slowing following six years of 8-plus
percent GDP growth, the GoA is coming under increasing domestic
pressure to protect its inefficient (certainly relative to Brazil)
industrial base. The GoA has repeatedly called draft NAMA texts
"unacceptable" and has offered little more forward-leaning than
vague promises of "room to maneuver" on agricultural and services
agreements. End Comment.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


WMO: Another La Niña Impacts Temperatures And Precipitation – But Not Climate Change
La Niña has developed for the second consecutive year and is expected to last into early 2022, influencing temperatures and precipitation. Despite the cooling influence of this naturally occurring climate phenomenon, temperatures in many parts of the world are expected to be above average because of the accumulated heat trapped in the atmosphere...

UN: Violations Of Palestinian Rights Puts Two-State Solution At Risk, Chief Warns
The situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, continues to pose a significant challenge to international peace and security, United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, said on Monday... More>>

Oxfam: Afghanistan Faces Multiple Crises

ActionStation, Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand, Christian World Service, Oxfam Aotearoa and World Vision New Zealand say that while Afghanistan faces chronic poverty, persistent droughts, war, the Covid-19 pandemic and an economic crisis, winter is about to bring a whole new set of challenges...More>>

World Food Programme: Millions More In Need Of Food Assistance As A Direct Result Of Conflict In Northern Ethiopia

The number of people in need of humanitarian food assistance across northern Ethiopia has grown to an estimated 9.4 million as a direct result of ongoing conflict, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) announced today... More>>

Food: Three Billion People Cannot Afford A Healthy Diet

Approximately three billion people, almost 40 per cent of the world’s population, cannot afford a healthy diet and another one billion people would join their ranks should further unpredictable events reduce incomes by one-third, the UN food agency said, launching a new report on Tuesday... More>>

COP26: Enough Of ‘Treating Nature Like A Toilet’ – Guterres Brings Stark Call For Climate Action To Glasgow
As the World Leaders Summit opened on day two of COP26, UN chief António Guterres sent a stark message to the international community. “We are digging our own graves”, he said, referring to the addiction to fossil fuels which threatens to push humanity and the planet, to the brink, through unsustainable global heating... More>>

  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC