Sep 202014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2008/03/08MANILA722.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08MANILA722
2008-03-25 05:56
2011-08-30 01:44
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO3343
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #0722 0850556
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 250556Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0214
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2215
UNCLAS MANILA 000722

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD WTRO ECON RP
SUBJECT: Philippines Considering Doha Commitments on Services

Ref: Manila 139

¶1. Sensitive But Unclassified

¶2. (SBU) Summary: Secretary of Trade Peter Favila told EconCouns
on March 24 that he is considering further commitments on services
under Doha Round negotiations. He noted that the Philippines has
publicly supported the Chairmen’s texts on agriculture and NAMA, as
President Arroyo promised they would. End Summary.

¶3. (SBU) In a meeting on other subjects, EconCouns raised with
Favila President Arroyo’s commitment to binding current levels of
openness and negotiating new opening under the Doha Round services
negotiations (reftel). Favila said he is considering just such a
move. He noted that both constitutional and legal restrictions on
services in the Philippines limit what he can do, but said he is
looking at what flexibility he has.

¶4. (U) Favila pointed out that he has publicly supported the
February Chairmen’s texts on agriculture and NAMA calling them “a
good basis” for further negotiations (press report forwarded by
email to USTR and EAP). Thus far, he noted hopefully, his
statements have not come under fire by Philippine opponents of free
trade, though perhaps that was the result of the focus of the press
on scandal, and more recently, of the dearth of attention to the
press during holy week.

¶5. (SBU) EconCouns noted that Washington is also expecting the
Philippines to publicly support a developing country coefficient of
20 in Geneva. Favila smiled, but did not respond.

Comment

¶6. (SBU) Favila was tightly focused on local politics before holy
week and this meeting was a useful way to bring him back to the
trade issues which should be his bread and butter. Of course, it is
not clear yet whether the NBN scandal, which demanded so much of his
time before, has been washed away over Easter. It was clear that
Favila has not forgotten the commitments the Philippines has made
regarding Doha, but it was equally clear that he is going to test
the domestic winds before taking actions which could cost the
government domestic political support.

EBERT-GRAY

   

 

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