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Cablegate: Germany Expresses Tepid Support for Geographical

VZCZCXRO9622
OO RUEHIK
DE RUEHRL #1333 2990636
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 260636Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5568
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES PRIORITY

UNCLAS BERLIN 001333

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

STATE PASS USTR FOR TANUJA GARDE AND DAWN SHACKLEFORD
FAS/OCRA/NENON; FAS/OSTA/RMACKE
FAS/OFSO/DYOUNG; FAS/ONA/ABURST

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD EUN KIPR
SUBJECT: GERMANY EXPRESSES TEPID SUPPORT FOR GEOGRAPHICAL
INDICATIONS REGISTRY

REF: STATE 104985

1. (SBU) Post delivered reftel demarche to
representatives of Germany's Ministry of Agriculture, the
Ministry of Economics and Technology and the Foreign
Office.

2. (SBU) The head of the AgMin's International Trade
Policy Division, Klaus Kehrein, told FAS that extending
Geographical Indications (GI) protection to wines and
spirits under the TRIPS Agreement is not a priority for
Germany. Kehrein said that Germany does support GIs
specifically for wine, but he candidly stated that
extending GI protection to other products and creating a
legally binding registry is mainly being pushed by
southern EU Mediterranean countries (i.e., Italy, Spain,
Portugal and France). Kehrein further stated that, since
Germany is an EU member, it will likely support the
European Commission's proposal out of solidarity.

3. (SBU) Christina Decker of the External Economic
Policy Section in the Econ Ministry said that it is no
secret that Germany is not a strong supporter of
extending Geographical Indications (GI) protection.
Decker stated that the Econ Ministry understands the U.S.
concerns with extending GIs, but this is an issue that is
very important for some EU member countries (i.e., the
countries mentioned above), and ultimately all EU member
countries have to agree on a common position in trade
matters. Decker also acknowledged that giving more
leeway to developing countries, such as Brazil and India,
on patent protection is not in the interest of German
industry, but this was purely a political move to gain
their support for the GIs proposal.

4. (SBU) Comment: Germany could become a potential U.S.
ally within the EU on this issue. It is unclear, however,
whether Germany is willing to invest political capital.
Embassy has scheduled several meetings at a more senior
level to encourage support from Germany and will report
evolution of German views. End Comment.


MURPHY

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