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Cablegate: Swiss Response to Amended Lacey Act

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSW #0621 3400614
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 050614Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY BERN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5514
INFO RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2863

UNCLAS BERN 000621

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

GENEVA PLEASE PASS TO K.NISHIURA AND C.STROSSMAN
STATE PLEASE PASS TO USTR FOR J.BUNTIN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV EAID EAGR ETRD EINV BTIO SZ
SUBJECT: SWISS RESPONSE TO AMENDED LACEY ACT

REF: STATE 126654

1. (SBU) Econoff delivered reftel points to the Swiss
Secretariat of Economic Affairs (SECO) Americas Officer Guido
Barsuglia on December 3. Barsuglia reported that the Swiss
intend to file comments against the Lacey amendments,
specifically in regards to the plant import declaration. The
comments are not yet finalized but will be submitted to both
the U.S. per the Federal Register notice and the WTO on or
before the December 8 deadline.

2. (SBU) Barsuglia stated that the comments will be based on
two points: 1) industry concerns in meeting the declaration
requirement and 2) Swiss government concerns that the
declaration is discriminatory in that it only applies to
imports, and not to products produced and sold within the
local U.S. market.

3. (SBU) According to SECO, the Swiss pulp and paper
industry reports that it will be difficult to ascertain the
point of origin of their trees because they mix trees from
various sources into each batch of pulp. The textile and
pharmaceutical industries have also filed concerns that it
will be difficult to designate the origin of the plant
product, but did not provide supporting details.

4. (SBU) In a previous meeting with Roche, company
representatives told econoff that Roche had concerns about
labeling requirements for all of their cardboard packaging
and paper label inserts that accompany pharmaceuticals
products. They believed the requirement to add in new text
on the packaging labels would be onerous.

5. (U) Post can provide further details upon receipt of
SECO's comments if needed.
CONEWAY

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