The US and Brazil have lined up a reciprocal agreement recognising the terms 'Bourbon whiskey' and Tennessee whiskey' and 'cachaça' as hailing from their respective countries.

Late last week, US Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Brazilian Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, Fernando Pimentel, exchanged paperwork that would see the US designate cachaça as “a distinctive product of Brazil”. At the same time, Brazil would designate Bourbon whiskey and Tennessee whiskey as “distinctive products of the US”.

The next move will see the US Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) publish a notice of proposed rulemaking that will invite comments from the public. If the TTB promulgates a final regulation designating cachaça as a distinctive product of Brazil, then the latter will recognise Bourbon whiskey and Tennessee whiskey as distinctive products of the US.

“This would be a favourable outcome for both the US and Brazilian industries and would create increased opportunities for trade in distilled spirits,” said the Office of the US Trade Representative.

The move was also welcomed by the Distilled Spirits Council of the US (DISCUS), which noted that Brazil is “a rapidly growing market for American whiskeys”.

“Formal recognition for Bourbon and Tennessee whiskey producers is critical because it will ensure that only those products produced in accordance with strict US standards will be permitted for sale in the Brazilian market,” said DISCUS' president, Peter Cressy.

Between 2001 and 2011, US whiskey exports to Brazil leapt by 519%, DISCUS added.

To read the official announcement from the Office of the US Trade Representative, click here.