Search

 

Cablegate: Goe Extends Bop Safeguards by Six Months, Eliminates

VZCZCXYZ0005
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHQT #0162/01 0411845
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 101844Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY QUITO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0949
INFO RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS
RUEHGL/AMCONSUL GUAYAQUIL
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE USD FAS WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS QUITO 000162

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
DEPT FOR WHA/AND AND EEB/TPP/MTAA FOR CRAFT
PASS TO USTR FOR HARMAN, RHODE,EISSENSTAT, AND SHACKLEFORD
TREASURY FOR YUAN
USDOC FOR ITA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD ECON WTRO USTR EC
SUBJECT: GOE EXTENDS BOP SAFEGUARDS BY SIX MONTHS, ELIMINATES
EXCHANGE RATE SAFEGUARDS ON COLOMBIAN PRODUCTS

REF: QUITO 96; QUITO 53; 09 QUITO 509; QUITO 102; 09 QUITO 1026

1. (SBU) Summary. Embassy has confirmed that Ecuador's Foreign
Trade and Investment Council (COMEXI) has developed a definitive
schedule to eliminate the balance of payments (BoP) safeguards
within six months. The safeguards were supposed to be eliminated
by their one year anniversary on January 23, 2010. Following a 10%
reduction in the safeguards on January 23, COMEXI has now decided
the BoP safeguards will be reduced by 30% every two months until
their final elimination on July 23. Publication of the COMEXI
decision, bringing it into force, is expected within one to two
weeks. Separate protective measures for the footwear and textile
sectors are still in the works. In line with a previously
announced timeline, COMEXI also decided to eliminate exchange rate
safeguards, that had been in place since July 2009, on a final
group of 236 Colombian products. Neither of these COMEXI decisions
has been published yet on its website. End Summary.

2. (SBU) Ecuador's Foreign Trade and Investment Council
(COMEXI) passed a resolution on February 3 that establishes a
schedule for reducing existing balance of payments (BoP) safeguards
every two months until their final elimination on July 23, 2010.
The safeguards were put into place January 22, 2009 and were
supposed to be eliminated after one year (Refs A, B and C).
COMEXI's February resolution confirms the GoE's intention to
continue the safeguards for an additional six months (Ref D). The
February 3 COMEXI decision has not been published yet, but Econoff
confirmed the content with officials at the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs (MFA) and Ministry of Industries and Productivity (MIPRO).
COMEXI decisions are usually published within one to two weeks.

3. (SBU) On January 23, 2010, the safeguards were reduced by an
initial 10%, as per COMEXI Resolution 533, published on January 15.
According to the February 3 COMEXI decision, the safeguards will be
reduced by an additional 30% on March 23, another 30% on May 23,
and a final 30% on July 23. As an example, if the surcharge under
the GoE's balance of payments measure had been a 12% ad valorem
tariff, as of January 23, that tariff became 10.8%. On March 23,
the tariff would be reduced to 7.2%; on May 23 it would be reduced
to 3.6%; and on July 23 the tariff would be eliminated. Specific
tariffs would be reduced in a similar fashion.

4. (SBU) Contacts at the MFA and MIPRO also confirmed that
COMEXI is devising separate protective measures for the footwear
and textile sectors. For now, these products remain within the
group of 627 products affected by the BoP safeguard measure.
However, press reports state that COMEXI has decided to apply a 10%
ad valorem plus $6 specific tariff to footwear. We cannot confirm
at this time the level of import protection the GoE plans to apply
to the footwear and textile sectors or the timing for these new
measures, but suspect they will come into force before final
elimination of the BoP safeguards.

5. (U) Separately, local press has reported that COMEXI also
approved elimination of exchange rate safeguards for a final group
of 236 imports from Colombia. Under this safeguard measure,
certain imports from Colombia were subject to the BoP safeguard
measure on top of the MFN tariff rate, rather than the Andean
Community preferential tariff rate of zero. The safeguards were
initially imposed on 1,346 products in July 2009. The number of
covered products was reduced to 666 in August 2009. A further 319
products were removed from the safeguards in October, and an
additional 111 in December. This latest COMEXI decision is in line
with the policy and timeline previously announced by the GoE for
elimination of safeguards on Colombian products (Ref E and
previous). The safeguards have had deleterious effects on a number
U.S. companies, including some producing chocolate products and pet
food.

Comment

6. (SBU) The GoE is expecting to encounter criticism at the next


WTO Balance of Payments Committee meeting. However, comments by
our MFA interlocutor lead us to conclude that the GoE believes the
establishment of an elimination schedule will help to dampen the
criticism and help Ecuador avoid any specific action against it
within the WTO.
HODGES

© 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>>