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Cablegate: Demarche Delivered: Colombia Not Ready to Co-Sponsor Wto

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DE RUEHBO #3285 3022325
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R 292325Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
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UNCLAS BOGOTA 003285

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EFIN ETRD PREL ECON WTRO CO
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE DELIVERED: COLOMBIA NOT READY TO CO-SPONSOR WTO
REMANUFACTURING INITIATIVE

REF: STATE 107233

1. (U) Econoff delivered reftel points and background in a
joint demarche with officials from the Embassies of Japan and
Switzerland to Juan Carlos Cadena, Director of Commercial Relations
within Colombia's Ministry of Trade. Cadena said that the GOC
remains committed to eliminating non-tariff barriers (NTBs) in
general, but that the Colombian private sector's sensibilities in
the area of remanufacturing have necessitated incremental steps for
the Colombian Government. The GOC is not ready to be a co-sponsor
of the initiative at this time, but Cadena pledged that Colombia
would continue to study the proposal, offer constructive input, and
consult with industry.

2. (U) Deputy Director of Commercial Relations Maria Eugenia
Mesa said that Colombia understood the benefits of remanufactured
goods, both in terms of less expensive products for Colombia, as
well as the potential to become an exporter of such products.
However, she explained the difficulties Colombian industry
(particularly electrical appliances and auto parts) had with
perceived competition from remanufactured goods during free trade
negotiations with the U.S. She noted that in subsequent FTA
negotiations with Canada and the European Free Trade Area,
Colombian industry was less opposed to liberalizing trade in
remanufactured goods, but that the process was a slow one.
Finally, Mesa said that Colombia's private sector was generally
lukewarm about WTO talks on NTBs in specific sectors (or groups of
sectors) because of what Mesa described as the perceived pressure
to reduce tariffs in those sectors that inevitably follows.

3. (U) Econoff inquired if the GOC planned to send anyone
from Bogota to the November 4 industry-led remanufacturing workshop
in Geneva. Cadena responded that Doris Jurado, Counselor at
Colombia's Mission to the WTO would represent the GOC at the event.
BROWNFIELD

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