Bonum Certa Men Certa

Cablegate: Sarkozy Promotes Monopolies in China, French Government Backs 'Community Patent' (aka EU Patent, Harmonisation)


Summary: The position of the Nicolas Sarkozy regime on intellectual monopolies including patents

POOR CHINA. The West is too obsessed with (afraid of) this highly productive nation that exports almost everything people buy in the shops if it's economic to transport by ship. Japan et al. try to limit China's trade using intellectual monopolies, which can impede domestic production under independent brands (Apple, for instance, is notorious for shutting down competing factories in China under the pretext of "IPR"). In any event, according to the following Cablegate cable (under ۦ4), the Nicolas Sarkozy regime "recently ratified the London protocol and would support adoption of a Community patent during its presidency, he said. "Common reflection" on patent harmonization issues was a potential area for TEC discussion. France also was supportive of the International Anti-counterfeiting and Piracy Agreement (?) (ACTA)."

The information came from Novelli, who "had accompanied President Sarkozy to China in late 2007 and the message on IPR had been "very firm." Pushing together for a stronger Chinese approach on IPR was important." Important to who? Surely not the Chinese population.

The position from Paris and EU authorities matters a lot and the cable below is not so out of date. It's also about ACTA.







E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: ECON [Economic Conditions], ETRD [Foreign Trade], ENRG [Energy and Power], PREL [External Political Relations], EAGR [Agriculture and Forestry], EUR, FR [France; Corsica] SUBJECT: FRENCH RECEPTIVE TO A/S SULLIVAN'S PITCH ON TEC


ۦ1. (U) Embassy Action Request Para 14.

ۦ2. (SBU) Summary: In February 13-14 meetings French Trade Minister Novelli, MFA Economic Director Masset and PM Diplomatic Advisor Lapouge told A/S Dan Sullivan they would be supportive of the Trans-Atlantic Economic Council (TEC) as an important part of France's EU presidency. On other issues Novelli said France would pay attention to "reciprocity" in EU foreign economic relations during its presidency. France's position on agricultural bio- technology was evolving, with the amended draft law on GMOs recently approved by the French Senate a more "balanced" approach than that of the initial draft. Lapouge said energy supply issues would figure among France's EU presidency priorities and briefed on PM Fillon's early February trip to Kazakhstan. End summary.

Novelli on TEC, 100% Screening, IPR - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

ۦ3. (SBU) In a February 13 meeting A/S Sullivan, accompanied by Ambassador Stapleton and SE Boyden Gray, told French Trade Junior Minister Herve Novelli the U.S. hoped France would put the TEC high on its agenda for the French EU presidency. He underscored that the TEC not only could help deepen transatlantic economic relationship by reducing and harmonizing regulatory barriers, but also it has a much broader strategic rationale: enabling the U.S. and EU to more closely coordinate economic policies vis-`-vis rising economic powers. France's endorsement would be key to a successful TEC, and one that helped ensure the institution's longevity. Novelli said the GOF saw the TEC as "very important" and the French presidency could "play a key role" in advancing it. But the May TEC and June U.S.- EU Summit would precede the French presidency and it would be important to focus on these first.

ۦ4. (SBU) Novelli described cargo security and IPR as GOF priorities (both in and out of the TEC). U.S. requirements for 100% screening of containers were a top French concern given the "costs it would impose" on trans-Atlantic trade. Novelli saw convergence in U.S. - French interests on IPR. France recently ratified the London protocol and would support adoption of a Community patent during its presidency, he said. "Common reflection" on patent harmonization issues was a potential area for TEC discussion. France also was supportive of the International Anti-counterfeiting and Piracy Agreement (?) (ACTA). Novelli had accompanied President Sarkozy to China in late 2007 and the message on IPR had been "very firm." Pushing together for a stronger Chinese approach on IPR was important.

Environmental Issues - - - - - - - - - -

ۦ5. (SBU) In the wake of its late 2007 "Grenelle" environmental pact France would be "exemplary" on cutting carbon emissions. The GOF was considering a variety of eco-taxes (and had already implemented some) as part of this effort. It would use its EU presidency to encourage an "awakening" on the use of such measures among its EU partners. Cuts in CO2 emissions were inevitable, Novelli said, the key would be to do so without impacting French productivity. (Note: Novelli said nothing about France's proposal for a carbon tax on imports from countries that do not impose binding limits on CO2 emissions. End note) A/S Sullivan underscored U.S. - EU convergence on climate change, especially through the Major Economies process.

ۦ6. (SBU) Sullivan raised the issue of GMOs, and Novelli said the GOF's position was evolving. The French Senate had passed a "more balanced" amended version of the GMO law than the one presented to parliament (ref). The position of Minister of Ecology and Sustainable Development Borloo was shifting, Novelli claimed, "in spite the views of environmental groups." France's current ban on MON810 "could be lifted," he said, though he did not specify the timing or circumstances of a possible rescission.

Reciprocity - - - - - -

ۦ7. (SBU) Novelli previewed other priority issues within his remit for the French presidency. The GOF would pursue a European Small Business Act, to include regulatory simplification and access to public procurement. The GOF had presented its ideas in Brussels to "enrich the debate" and the Commission was preparing an initial draft. The GOF would encourage movement towards freer trade and investment regimes, but on the basis of reciprocity. The GOF wanted Europe to be "as open as our partners," but it would demand a level playing field. Discussion on EU trade defense measures was a possible "element" in France's strategy for pursuing reciprocity.

ۦ8. (SBU) France continued to hope for a Doha deal, Novelli said, but it "must be balanced." The GOF felt the Commission had done the "maximum," in fact surpassing negotiating mandates on agriculture and industrial access. France would not "sacrifice its interests" for the sake of a deal. Sullivan underscored very strong U.S. commitment to getting a "good, ambitious" agreement. He also noted the importance of maintaining a public commitment to open trade and investment, saying that foreign direct investment was a net benefit regardless of reciprocal limitations that partners might impose.

TEC Strategic Dialogue Timely - - - - - - - - - - - - -

ۦ9. (SBU) In a separate meeting MFA Economic Director Christian Masset echoed Novelli's support for the TEC. He warmed to A/S Sullivan's description of the strategic nature of the TEC as demonstrated by the dialogue that had occurred over lunch at the November meeting. Such dialogue could be particularly useful given that France would host EU summits with a number of key developing economies during its presidency, including China and India.

ۦ10. (SBU) Masset expanded on the French EU presidency priorities of climate change and energy. The GOF would look to move forward with Phase II of the Emissions Trading System, the framework directive on renewables, and a directive for carbon capture and storage. To reach 2020 reduction goals, half of the gains would come through the functioning of the ETS, the other half from sectors not covered by the trading system. It would take strong action in both areas to achieve EU goals.

ۦ11. (SBU) On energy security, France would "put more emphasis" on dialogue with the Central Asia/Caspian region on diversification. Masset was keen on A/S Sullivan's views on the region, and Sullivan highlighted elements of his latest trip to Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan. Masset and Sullivan also touched on eventual membership of India and China in the IEA (septel).

PM Fillon in Kazakhstan - - - - - - - - - - - -

ۦ12. (SBU) PM Fillon's diplomatic advisor Jacques Lapouge briefed Sullivan on the Prime Minister's early February visit to Kazakhstan (the first such visit in 15 years). Calling the trip "pretty encouraging," Lapouge said Fillon brought a message of support for development of westward hydrocarbon supply routes. Supply diversification would, in fact, be a theme of the French EU presidency. Lapouge said Nazarbayev talked to Fillon about shipping product across the Caspian, as well as a possible pipeline skirting the southern shore of the Caspian. He expressed continued interest in a pipeline to Iran.

ۦ13. (SBU) On other issues, Lapouge responded positively to A/S Sullivan's briefing on TEC (though an advisor had heard disappointment at EU technical levels over a perceived lack of progress on EU issues at the first TEC). On G8, the former Sous-Sherpa questioned whether there was sufficient follow-through in meeting commitments, notably on ODA. The body's "credibility is at stake," Lapouge thought. On IPR, the Heilegendamm Process must aim high and not be pulled down to the lowest common denominator. Lapouge indicated the French were interested in keeping alive their proposal for a FATF-like body for IPR in G8 discussions.

Embassy Action Request - - - - - - - - - - -

ۦ14. (SBU) French views on energy supply diversification opportunities in the Caspian Basin are evolving. With the GOF ready to engage more actively on energy diplomacy in the region during its EU presidency, this is an auspicious time to contribute to French thinking. Post encourages the visit of an appropriate Department, or inter-agency, delegation to Paris in the coming months for in-depth discussions with French counterparts on these issues.

ۦ15. (U) A/S Sullivan has cleared this cable.


In the next post we shall look at cables from Brussels.

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