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Cablegate: Romania: Demarche Response to Geographical

VZCZCXRO3344
PP RUEHIK
DE RUEHBM #0704 2921051
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 191051Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9983
INFO RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS BUCHAREST 000704

SENSITIVE

STATE PLEASE PASS USTR FOR TGARDE AND DSHACKLEFORD
COMMERCE FOR USPTO

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD EUN KIPR RO
SUBJECT: ROMANIA: DEMARCHE RESPONSE TO GEOGRAPHICAL
INDICATIONS AND THE CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

REF: STATE 0104985

1. (U) This is an Action Request; please see paragraphs 5 and 6.

2. (SBU) EconCoun delivered reftel demarche points on October 16 to
Victoria Campeanu, Director General for Trade Policies under the
Ministry of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, Trade, and Business
Environment. Campeanu appreciated receiving the U.S. perspective
but explained that Romania fully supports the Geographical
Indications (GI) registry, as advocated by the European Commission
(EC), and its extension to other products. She regretted the
"inflexible" U.S. position and said there had to be points related
to GI where the EU and U.S. could find common ground for further
negotiations. Campeanu said that, while market access for
agriculture and NAMA products is important, the GI issue is equally
important for Europe.

3. (SBU) Campeanu asserted that diverging views on the GI registry
arise from the differing developmental histories and economic
systems of the United States and the European Union. She believes
that in Romania, like the rest of Europe, Geographical Indications
are necessary to protect the profits and reputations of small and
medium enterprises. She cited a number of specific Romanian
products, including cheese, marble, and ceramics, which in her view
would benefit from the EC proposal. In the United States, she
postulated, the reliance on trademarks alleviates the need for this
protection. Campeanu did admit that producers may register GI for
recognition in the United States, but in her view the process is
difficult and the level of protection afforded is not the same. She
defended the proposal for making the registry legally binding,
stating that the process of registering in each WTO member country
is too difficult, costly, and time-consuming for small and medium
enterprises.

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4. (SBU) Concerning the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD),
Campeanu admitted candidly that Europe's support for developing
countries on patent disclosure rules was a "marriage of convenience"
in order to advance their respective agendas in Doha. Romania
supports the EU position for this reason but otherwise does not have
strong views on India's and Brazil's positions. Campeanu was open
to alternatives, including the possibility of a national
contract-based system. She emphasized the importance of protecting
producers' interests and ensuring product integrity.

5. (SBU) Following the discussion of GI and CBD, Campeanu raised
three additional issues and asked that Romania's concerns be
conveyed to Washington:
A) Romania seeks a "friendlier environment" for foreign producers
seeking to register GIs with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
(USPTO), particularly for wine and cheese products. Campeanu said
the USPTO procedures are prohibitively time-consuming, complex, and
costly.
B) With regard to the Lacey Act requirement for mandatory import
licensing of wood products starting next year, Romania is opposed to
illegal logging but believes the list of products requiring a
license is too exhaustive. Romania believes it should be limited to
raw logs and cut lumber but not to such finished wood products as
furniture. Overly-broad enforcement of the Lacey provisions will
have an adverse effect on boutique products, like handcrafted
furniture, which Romania exports to the U.S. market.
C) Campeanu expressed concern about the "zeroing" methodology used
by the U.S. Department of Commerce in anti-dumping investigations.
Characterizing zeroing as an "unorthodox method" which is "contrary
to international norms," Campeanu noted that while Romania currently
is not included in any anti-dumping investigations, it "fully
shares" concerns of other EU members about the methodology.

6. (SBU) Action Request: Post would appreciate any additional
guidance Washington agencies can provide in response to issues
raised in para. 5.

GITENSTEIN

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