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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05KINGSTON1676
2005-07-08 12:48:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Kingston
Cable title:  

WTO DEMARCHE ON SWISS FORMULA BENEFITS FOR

Tags:   EFIS  SENV  JM 
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						UNCLAS KINGSTON 001676 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/CAR (WBENT), EB/TPP/JALLEN
USTR FOR SBOVIM, BMAKENS

E.O. 12958: NA
TAGS: EFIS SENV JM
SUBJECT: WTO DEMARCHE ON SWISS FORMULA BENEFITS FOR
CARIBBEAN

REF: STATE 120667



1. (U) Per reftel, Econoff met with Esmond Reid and Richard
Brown of the International and Economic Affairs Department
at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade on July
5, 2005 to convey reftel demarche on the Swiss formula
benefits for the Caribbean. He left the talking points and
supporting charts as a non-paper.



2. (SBU) On the issue of losing preferential trade access
advantages under the Argentina/Brazil/India (ABI) formula,
Brown challenged the current utility of those advantages for
Jamaica, since the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) does not
presently cover several market sectors of interest to the
GOJ, while the Jamaican economy is currently unable to make
significant exports in many of the sectors covered by CBI,
such as textiles and ethanol. He said that, by contrast,
the ABI plan would force cuts in many of the markets where
Jamaican exporters have interest. Brown suggested that
Jamaica could support the Swiss formula if the CBI were
expanded to give Jamaica tariff advantages in a broader
variety of product categories.



3. (SBU) Regarding the ability of developing countries to
protect "import sensitive" sectors under the provisions of
Paragraph Eight of the Swiss formula proposal, Brown said
that the GOJ could support the plan if its financial
analysis showed that the terms of the Paragraph Eight
exemptions allowed the GOJ to maintain its revenue streams
at a sufficiently high level.



4. (SBU) Regarding lack of access to major developing
country markets under the ABI plan, Brown said that the GOJ
was not terribly concerned about the lack of access, since
70 percent of Jamaica's foreign trade is with the United
States, and geographical considerations make the developing
Asian markets unattractive to Jamaican exporters.



5. (SBU) Reid inquired as to news of progress on the Free
Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), in light of the recent
passage by the U.S. Senate of Central American (and
Dominican Republic) Free Trade Area (CAFTA) legislation. He
stated that, in the absence of a FTAA system, an enhanced
CBI agreement would be of great interest to the GOJ. Reid
added that cooperation could be enhanced in many areas,
using the CBI as a framework.



6. (SBU) Reid and Brown said that they would convey the
talking points and supporting data to their negotiators in
Geneva.



7. (SBU) Comment: The GOJ's complaint that the CBI
agreement is poorly suited to Jamaica's current needs seems
accurate in many areas, especially in light of the near
total collapse of the island's textile industry. Both Reid
and Brown expressed interest in supporting the Swiss formula
if the flexibility provided by the terms of Paragraph Eight
meets the GOJ's needs, and if the categories of the CBI can
be expanded to cover some of Jamaica's more active export
sectors. End Comment.

TIGHE