DE RUEHQT #2513 2851839
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 121839Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY QUITO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5456
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 6068
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 2085
RUEHGT/AMEMBASSY GUATEMALA 0806
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ OCT LIMA 1043
RUEHMU/AMEMBASSY MANAGUA 0468
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO 1511
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA 0658
RUEHSJ/AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE 1314
RUEHTG/AMEMBASSY TEGUCIGALPA 0529
RUEHGL/AMCONSUL GUAYAQUIL 1280
UNCLAS QUITO 002513
PASS USTR FOR BHARMAN, MMOWREY
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD EAGR EC
SUBJECT: ECUADOR PLANS TO INITIATE WTO CASE AGAINST EU
1. (SBU) Summary. According to U/S for International
Economic Policy Fernando Yepez, Ecuador plans to bring a WTO
case against the EU banana import regime, and will be joined
by Colombia, Panama, Nicaragua, and Honduras. Yepez asked
whether the USG would be joining in the case, since it had
been one of the original five plaintiffs in the initial WTO
banana case against the EU. End Summary.
2. (SBU) In an October 6 meeting, Fernando Yepez, Under
Secretary for International Economic Policy at the Ministry
for Foreign Relations, told EconCouns that Ecuador has
decided to go forward with a WTO case challenging the EU's
current banana import regime. He said that Ecuador's
Minister of Commerce, Tomas Peribonio, would be signing an
agreement with a U.S.-based law firm during Peribonio's
October 5-6 visit to Washington, and that roughly three weeks
after signing the contract Ecuador would be looking to
request consultations with the EU as the first step towards
filing a WTO dispute.
3. (SBU) Yepez said that Colombia, Panama, Nicaragua, and
Honduras have decided to join Ecuador, while Guatemala and
Costa Rica were still holding out hope for mediation.
However, Yepez said, with the Doha Round discussions on hold,
the mediation efforts were not going anywhere, and Ecuador
believes the only way to bring change to the EU's current
banana regime is through a WTO dispute settlement case.
Yepez added that he would join Minister Peribonio in a visit
to Central America the week of October 16 to discuss the WTO
case with interested Central American nations.
4. (SBU) Yepez then asked whether the U.S. would be joining
the case, noting that U.S. was one of the five countries that
successfully brought the initial WTO case against the EU.
EconCouns said that he would pass on to Washington these
latest developments and would advise Yepez if the USG reached
any decision on whether to participate in the WTO case.