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Cablegate: Germany On Tec: More Modest Agenda, Ready to Deal

VZCZCXRO5559
PP RUEHIK
DE RUEHRL #1314/01 2940847
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 210847Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5538
INFO RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BERLIN 001314

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE PASS TO JKESSLER IN EUR/ERA; PSCHROEDER IN EUR/CE; USTR AND
OMB

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD EFIN PREL ECIN EU GM
SUBJECT: GERMANY ON TEC: MORE MODEST AGENDA, READY TO DEAL

REF: A. BRUSSELS 78
B. BRUSSELS 437
C. BERLIN 396

BERLIN 00001314 001.2 OF 002

1. (SBU) Summary: The German government, worried that the
Transatlantic
Economic Cooperation (TEC) process may stall at the upcoming TEC
meeting
on October 26-27, is setting more modest goals. The German
government
has submitted five agenda items - on financial regulations,
innovative
technologies, auto environmental and safety standards, biofuels, and

100% container scanning -- and asks that the U.S. does the same.
The
goal is to proceed with a common agenda of workable issues and keep
the
process going. German industry remains fully on board. End
summary.

German Government Tables TEC Proposal
-------------------------------------

2. (SBU) Last month, the German Economic Ministry sent Embassy
Berlin a
paper with its comments on the upcoming October 26-27 TEC meeting.
The
paper is based largely on a position paper that EU Commissioner
Verheugen issued in July. The German paper proposes putting only
those
issues of interest to both the U.S. and the EU on the TEC agenda.
The
Economic Ministry identified five issues of particular interest to
Germany:

A) Overcoming the financial crisis by cooperating on rules for
credit
rating agencies and solvency requirements for insurance companies,
as
well as mutual recognition of standards for supervising financial
markets;

B) Increasing cooperation in RFID and electric vehicle technologies
(aka
"electromobility");

C) Coordinating environmental and safety standards in the automobile

industry;

D) Cooperating on sustainability criteria for the use of biofuels;
and

E) Cooperating on solutions to deal with the challenge of 100%
container
scanning.

3. (SBU) Once priority areas have been identified, the paper calls
for
the U.S. and the EU to develop a concrete plan of action. In order
to
ensure continuity of the TEC process, the paper further suggests
establishing a "working-level group" that stays in regular contact,
to
maintain progress from one TEC meeting to another. And it supports
the
U.S.-proposed and now launched U.S.-EU Energy Council, which the
Commission previously regarded with skepticism, as an appropriate
forum
for cooperation on energy issues, provided that it does not
duplicate
the work of other fora. The paper ends with a strong appeal to both

sides to produce a work plan and achieve concrete results in the
TEC.

4. (SBU) Subsequent to receiving the FRG's paper, a group of trade
contacts at the German Federal Ministry of Economics led by Knut
Bruenjes, Deputy Director General for Trade Policy, emphasized to us
the
importance of achieving concrete results at the October 27-28 TEC
meeting. They showed a clear preference toward more modest and

BERLIN 00001314 002.2 OF 002


realistic goals that can actually be accomplished. Bruenjes noted
that,
whereas the Verheugen position paper of July had said, "all areas
linked
to ethical judgments and convictions should be excluded from mutual

recognition," it was his view that, despite divergent U.S. and EU
world
views on many matters, both sides should pursue practical solutions
to
bridge such differences, as was done in the case of hormones in
beef. As
another example, Bruenjes suggested a common US/EU standard for a
plug
for electrical vehicles. Agreement on a simple, but practical,
thing
like a common plug could, in his view, serve as a major deliverable
with
an immediate practical consequence that the man in the street would

understand and appreciate.

5. (SBU) Because container scanning is enshrined in U.S. law,
Bruenjes
suggested that the EU and the U.S. work together to develop
technologies
to make scanning work efficiently, and then market those
technologies,
including to third countries.

German Industry on the Same Page
--------------------------------

6. (SBU) In recent discussions, representatives of the Federation of

German Industries (BDI) reaffirmed their strong support for the TEC,

agreeing with the overall thrust of the German government's paper.
The
most important topics for BDI continue to be:
A) Energy and climate (energy efficiency, R&D, regulatory
cooperation
and emission trading),

B) Innovation technologies (RFID, nanotechnology and electro
mobility),

C) Secure trade/100% scanning,

D) The suppliers' declaration of conformity (SDOC), and

E) The protection of intellectual property.

BDI also continues to emphasize the need for high-level political
support for the TEC process from both sides of the Atlantic to move
the
process forward.

Comment
-------

7. (SBU) The German Econ Ministry's bottom line is that they want
results and a work plan that aims for deliverables. In turn, they
would
like the U.S. to identify its own top agenda items, work together
with
them to narrow the topics down to a common agenda, and come up with
a
concrete work plan at the working level to keep these agenda items
moving forward. Failing that, they are concerned that the TEC
process
will reach a stalemate.

MURPHY

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