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Cablegate: Costa Rica: 14th Cafta-Dr Bill Passage Likely Not Until

VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSJ #1226 3642106
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 302105Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0175
INFO WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SAN JOSE 001226

SIPDIS
DEPT FOR EEB/TPP/BTA DGROUT AND RMANOGUE, WHA/EPSC SGARRO, EEB/TPP/IPE LHUG
HES
AND JURBAN
PLEASE PASS TO USTR AMALITO AND DOLIVER
PLEASE PASS TO TREASURY SRALSTON AND ENEPHEW
PLEASE PASS TO COMMERCE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD KIPR CS PREL PGOV
SUBJECT: COSTA RICA: 14TH CAFTA-DR BILL PASSAGE LIKELY NOT UNTIL
FEBRUARY

REF: SAN JOSE 1194

SUBJECT: COSTA RICA: FINAL CAFTA-DR BILL PASSAGE LIKELY NOT UNTIL
FEBRUARY

1. Costa Rica's Legislative Assembly adjourned for the year on
December 22 and plans to re-convene on January 18. The committee
handling the 14th CAFTA-DR bill-addressing three technical
intellectual property rights (IPR) corrections that USTR
requires-closed the final round for accepting amendments. The bill
now has over 100 amendments which the committee will evaluate when
it returns to work.

2. In early December, opposition parties appeared willing to
acquiesce to the bill's quick passage. At the last moment, the
spirit of cooperation evaporated. Prospects for final approval of
the bill in January are dim. Even if the bill receives the first
of two general plenary votes during the last week of January, the
bill will likely be referred to the constitutional court for a
thirty day review. Assuming the bill passes constitutional
review, late February to early March is the likely time frame for
final passage in the Assembly.

3. The consequence of the process of the 14th bill dragging on is
that Costa Rica will delay receiving its 2010 CAFTA-DR preferential
sugar quota. Costa Rica lost this CAFTA-DR benefit when it failed
to pass the bill before December 31 (reftel).
BRENNAN

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