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EU/US: Temporary wine trade agreement signed

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The European Commission has signed a temporary wine trade agreement with the US.

The deal was signed yesterday (23 August) and will last until the beginning of next year, when a permanent agreement will come in to force, pending approval from the 25 EU member states.

In September, the two sides recognised US winemaking practices while calling for a new system to recognise US wine place names. In return, the deal bars US winemakers from using famous names such as Champagne, Burgundy and Chablis on new wine brands. Existing brands will be allowed to continue using these terms on existing brands, however, if accompanied by an adjacent appellation of origin.

Soon after, EU politicians claimed that the deal did not go far enough, claiming it was a cave-in to US interests and a threat to the essence of European culture. "I don't want a McDonald's type chardonnay," Anne Laperuze, a French member of the European Parliament, told Dow Jones.

The head of Bordeaux's CIVB, Christian Delpeuch, told just-drinks last month: "If we hadn't come to an agreement, then the US would have imposed terrible constraints on our imports into the US - either way, we could not win. Europe just wasn't in a position to negotiate."


Sectors: Wine

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