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Cablegate: Costa Rican President Accepts Trade Summit

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSJ #0651/01 2211409
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 081409Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9989
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0795
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS SAN JOSE 000651

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR WHA, WHA/CEN, WHA/EPSC, USOAS AND EEB; PLEASE PASS
TO USTR:AMALITO/DOLIVER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CS ECON ETRD KIPR PGOV PREL
SUBJECT: COSTA RICAN PRESIDENT ACCEPTS TRADE SUMMIT
INVITATION AND REQUESTS CAFTA-DR EVENT

REF: A. A) SECSTATE 80675
B. B) SAN JOSE 631
C. C) SAN JOSE 634

1. (U) Please see Action Requests. paragraph 7.

2. (SBU) SUMMARY: President Oscar Arias accepts the USG
invitation to attend the Americas Trade Summit scheduled for
September 24 in New York (Reftels A and B). In addition, the
President requested an entry-into-force event in the US on
September 23, either in Washington or New York, to mark Costa
Rica's accession into CAFTA-DR. We recommend making every
effort to comply with Arias,s request. END SUMMARY.

-----------------------
U.S. INVITATION ACCEPTED
-----------------------

3. (U) The GOCR delivered President Arias's acceptance to
Embassy San Jose through the Ministry of Foreign Trade
(COMEX). Separately, the MFA (FM Bruno Stagno,s office)
confirmed the President's acceptance of the trade summit
invitation.

-----------------------------
COSTA RICAN REQUEST DELIVERED
-----------------------------

4. (SBU) COMEX also relayed President Arias's related
request: to officially deposit the CAFTA-DR instrument of
ratification at the OAS in Washington on September 23 or
exchange diplomatic notes there or in New York to mark Costa
Rica,s CAFTA-DR accession. COMEX (and the MFA) indicated
that the details and format of the event are open to
discussion. The key for them (and evidently for Arias) is to
be able to participate in the New York summit as a full
member of the FTA "club".

5. (SBU) The President's request raises the bar for the GOCR
to complete the remaining parts of CAFTA-DR implementation:
approval and publication of two bills, approval of
regulations, signing of the insurance side letter and
associated documentation, and the creation of a special
enforcement office to prosecute intellectual property crimes.
All of this must be completed by mid-September.

------------------------
LEGISLATION KEEPS MOVING
------------------------

6. (SBU) Arias, request was no doubt fueled by the
continuing CAFTA-DR legislative progress (Ref C). The last
implementing bill (on IPR and biodiversity) passed the first
vote of the National Assembly on August 6. If review by the
Constitutional Court is required (and assuming the Court
finds no problems), the bill would return for a second and
final vote in about 30 days. Legislative staff tell us,
however, that the Court may not have to review the IPR bill
after all. If that proves true, the bill could face its
second and final vote as early as the week of August 11,
before the legislature is expected to break for recess.
(COMMENT: We'd be pleasantly surprised if the CAFTA
opposition did not send this controversial final bill to the
Court for review. END COMMENT.)

---------------
ACTION REQUESTS
---------------

7. (SBU) Please advise how we can best respond to President
Arias,s request. We recognize that the USG may be reluctant
to commit to an event that is largely dependent on GOCR
execution. Yet, Arias,s request poses questions for USTR:
when is the cutoff date for receiving published laws,
approved regulations, signed side letters, and evidence of an
established special prosecutor's office? To meet the
president's request, we assume that all documents will need
to have been reviewed and certified by USTR NLT 22 September
(or even before). Therefore, by when does USTR need final
documentation in order to hold an event on September 23?
Also, please advise the correct form for Costa Rica,s entry
into force activity. Is deposit at the OAS more appropriate
than an exchange of notes?

-------
COMMENT

-------

8. (SBU) We recommend making every effort to comply with
Arias,s request. He is finally confident enough about
CAFTA-DR,s prospects here to suggest a date certain to
deposit Costa Rica,s instrument of ratification and/or mark
imminent entry-into-force. Let,s hold him and the GOCR to
it. Accepting that date certain should squelch temptation to
fiddle with the remaining implementation elements; there
would be no time. Arias certainly views a CAFTA-DR ceremony
(probably well-publicized) as a way to score domestic
political points at home, but highlighting Costa Rica,s
better-late-than-never accession to CAFTA-DR during the UNGA
(and around the New York Summit) would be a timely boost to
the USG trade agenda as well, in our view.
CIANCHETTE

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