Search

 

Cablegate: Eu, Chinese and Armenian Negotiations Highlight December

VZCZCXRO2015
RR RUEHAG RUEHBZ RUEHGI RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHPB RUEHPOD RUEHSL
DE RUEHGV #1262/01 3551604
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 211604Z DEC 09
FM USMISSION GENEVA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1134
INFO RUCNWTO/WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION COLLECTIVE
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 5902
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 1096
RUEHYE/AMEMBASSY YEREVAN 0137
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO 2075
RUEHGP/AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE 0967
RUEHSW/AMEMBASSY BERN 8558
RUEHCH/AMEMBASSY CHISINAU 0173
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 GENEVA 001262

PASS USTR FOR JGRIER, AWINTER AND MPAGAN
PASS USDOC/4110 FOR BWOODWARD, KKELLY, JPRUITT
PASS TREASURY FOR GEARP

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD WTRO USTR ECON
SUBJECT: EU, CHINESE AND ARMENIAN NEGOTIATIONS HIGHLIGHT DECEMBER
2009 GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT SESSIONS

Ref: A) Geneva 973 B) State 124680

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Parties to the WTO Agreement on Government
Procurement (GPA) expressed renewed interest during meetings
December 7-9 in Geneva in concluding renegotiation of the GPA in
2010. In bilateral negotiations with the EU delegation, the United
States and the EU agreed to work jointly to try to resolve the
outstanding issues, both text and market access related, beginning
at the next GPA meeting in February, with the goal of completing the
renegotiation before the end of 2010. On accessions, Armenia's
delegation responded favorably to U.S. requests for modifications of
its initial offer and appears that it may be possible to conclude
its accession by mid-2010. After little progress on its accession
in 2009, Jordan promised to submit a revised market access offer
during the first half of 2010. During a bilateral meeting with
China, the U.S. delegation raised industry complaints on the
issuance of a recent circular on indigenous innovation, which
appears to place foreign firms at a significant disadvantage
relative to Chinese domestic firms when competing for certain types
of government procurement. The circular appears inconsistent with
China's commitment made during the July Strategic and Economic
Dialogue that it would treat products produced in China by foreign
invested firms the same as products produced in China by Chinese
firms for purposes of government procurement. The U.S. delegation
held bilateral meetings December 7-8 with Armenia, China, Jordan,
the EU, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland and Norway. The WTO Committee
on Government Procurement formal meeting took place December 9. The
next committee meetings will take place the week of February 8,
2010. End summary.

PRODUCTIVE MEETING WITH EU BOOTS HOPE FOR REVISED GPA IN 2010

2. (SBU) A bilateral meeting with the EU focused on identifying
common interests in moving forward in GPA negotiations. While the
EU did not provide specific new offers, they indicated they had a
mandate, and wanted to work with the United States, to conclude the
renegotiation of the GPA in 2010. Both sides went over a list of
text and market access issues that would need to be resolved or
addressed in order to reach an agreement.

3. (SBU) The EU presented a wish list for expanded market access to
the U.S. procurement market. The U.S. delegation made no
commitments, but indicated it would consider potential expansion of
U.S. coverage'. The U.S. delegation reiterated that the EU's
revised market access offer is unacceptable as it withdraws current
market access coverage and could not accept any agreement with such
an outcome. The EU did not respond to the comment. The United
States emphasized the need to resolve the failure of the EU to
properly notify more than 500 modifications to its covered entity
list. Finally, the United States would need to see what increased
coverage the EU could offer. The two sides also discussed ways to
work together on other GPA issues.

ADDITIONAL BILATERAL MEETINGS WITH GPA MEMBERS

4. (SBU) JAPAN: In a bilateral meeting, Japan's delegation said it
would try to find ways to make offers of additional market access by
February. Japan indicated it had "informal information" on
implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to
exclude Japanese firms in contravention of the GPA. The U.S.
delegation expressed its willingness to engage, but noted that it
could not respond substantively absent information regarding the
entities involved.

5. (SBU) SINGAPORE: Singapore offered to drop its proposed
revisions to Article XXII (Final Provisions), which have been
delaying completion of that Article. [Note: However, in the
plurilateral session the EU requested to retain Singapore's proposal
as an EU proposal and promised to circulate to the Committee amended
language at the February meeting. End note.] Singapore also
offered to amend a small business set-aside program it put forward
in its revised market access offer in July, and which had met
significant amount of resistance from the United States and most
other GPA parties. Singapore is offering to open these small
business set-aside procurements to all GPA members. The United
States will examine this amended offer before formally replying.

GENEVA 00001262 002.2 OF 003

6. (SBU) NORWAY: The Norwegians said they fully shared the view to
move forward quickly on completing the revision, and said success
could give a positive signal to Doha negotiators. They said they
would need to consult in Oslo on concluding the renegotiations as an
amendment to the existing GPA, as they had originally understood
efforts as creating a new agreement.

7. (SBU) SWITZERLAND: The Swiss negotiator supported aggressive
efforts to conclude negotiations on the revised GPA during the first
half of 2010. He proposed putting matters that could not be
resolved in 2010 into a work program for future discussions. For
Switzerland, providing for non-discriminatory treatment of small-
and medium-enterprises is vital. The Swiss would appreciate U.S.
support for such a statement, and would be interested in access to
even one more U.S. state.

ARMENIAN ACCESSION MOVING QUICKLY

8. (SBU) Armenia sent a delegation from Yerevan as requested by GPA
members at the previous session (ref A). The delegation presented a
timetable that would put Yerevan on course for accession as soon as
July 2010. Armenian delegation leader Varos Simonyan, Head of the
EU and International Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Economics,
came prepared with oral answers to all questions submitted by the
United States after the October bilateral. He agreed to remove
Armenia's note that would reserve the right to apply offsets on
procurement contracts, as well as to leave out a note potentially
limiting coverage of some services. Simonyan reported that a draft
law on government procurement to comply with the GPA was under
discussion within the government and would be sent to parliament by
February. At the Government Procurement Committee Session it was
agreed that all parties should submit requests to Armenia no later
than the next meeting in February to avoid further delay.

CHINESE DELEGATION ON INDIGENOUS INNOVATION, NEXT OFFER

9. (SBU) The U.S. delegation used a bilateral meeting with the
Chinese to discuss new regulations on indigenous innovation with
their Chinese counterparts, raising the same points included in a
demarche recently presented by Embassy Beijing (ref B). The
Ministry of Finance-led Chinese delegation, which included members
from the Ministry of Commerce and the Legal Office of the State
Council, claimed that it had fewer details on the circular than the
U.S. delegation. The Chinese explained that although the Ministry
of Finance (MOF) was one of three agencies issuing the circular on
indigenous innovation, the Ministry of Science and Technology was
the lead. The head MOF official present did not refute U.S.
concerns that the process could de facto bar foreign-owned
manufacturers in China from some procurement. He said he would look
into the circular. [Comment: the United States raised its concerns
with this measure with the other key GPA parties. Somewhat
surprisingly, most other delegations did not seem to be familiar
with it or appreciate how it could affect procurement market
opportunities.] In response to a U.S. question, he noted that MOF
was working on revisions of its implementing regulations for the
Government Procurement Law, and thought they could be submitted soon
to the State Council.

JORDAN EXPECTS TO SUBMIT REVISED ACCESSION OFFER IN APRIL

10. (SBU) The Jordanian delegation, led by their capital-based
negotiator, explained in another bilateral meeting that Amman hopes
to finish an assessment of the impact of GPA accession, being
conducted by a private consultant, in the first quarter of 2010. It
will use the assessment to formulate a revised accession offer in
April, in which it indicated it would respond to U.S. requests from
August to improve its offer. Jordan also expressed interest in
attending any informational session on the GPA held in its region.
Jordanian businesses would benefit from learning about possibilities
to compete for USG procurement, according to the delegation.

FORMAL MEETING

11. (U) At the formal meeting of the Committee, the Committee
reviewed the status of accessions and implementation of the GPA with

GENEVA 00001262 003 OF 003


respect to notifications of thresholds, statistical reporting and
review of national implementing legislation. It also reviewed the
status of modifications to the appendices to the GPA. Both Japan
and the U.S. delegation noted concerns with long-standing unresolved
objections to modifications, and asked the Chair's assistance in
resolving.

U.S. DELEGATION

12. (U) The United States delegation was led by Jean Heilman Grier,
USTR senior procurement negotiator, and included Robert Kasper from
USTR/Geneva, Katrice Kelly and Brian Woodward of the Department of
Commerce, and Nathan Lane of the Department of State. This cable
has been cleared by all members of the delegation.

SHARK

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

IPPPR: The Independent Panel Calls For Urgent Reform Of Pandemic Prevention And Response Systems

Expert independent panel calls for urgent reform of pandemic prevention and response systems The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response is today calling on the global community to end the COVID-19 pandemic and adopt a series of bold and ... More>>

NGO Coalition On Human Rights: Call For A Stop To Police Brutality In Fiji

A viral video has circulated online showing two police officers utilising disproportionate and excessive force in detaining the suspect, an individual half their size. In the video it shows the man’s head being pressed down on the ground, his arms being ... More>>

UN: India’s New COVID-19 Wave Is Spreading Like ‘Wildfire’, Warns UN Children’s Fund

7 May 2021 A new wave of COVID-19 infections is spreading like “wildfire” across India, leaving many youngsters destitute, the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF said on Friday. In the last 24 hours, India registered 3,915 coronavirus deaths and 414,188 ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UN: Economic Recovery Under Threat Amid Surging COVID Cases And Lagging Vaccination In Poorer Countries

New York, 11 May — While the global growth outlook has improved, led by robust rebound in China and the United States, surging COVID-19 infections and inadequate vaccination progress in many countries threaten a broad-based recovery of the world ... More>>

Study: Cut Methane Emissions To Avert Global Temperature Rise

6 May 2021 Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed ... More>>

UN: Learning From COVID-19, Forum To Highlight Critical Role Of Science, Technology And Innovation In Global Challenges

New York, 4 May —To build on the bold innovations in science, technology and innovations that produced life-saving solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN will bring together experts to highlight measures that can broaden the development and deployment ... More>>