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US: Winemakers hail EU trade agreement

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California's winemakers believe the signing of an EU-US wine trade pact will "level the playing field" between producers on both sides of the Atlantic.

US trade representative Rob Portman and EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Mariann Fischer Boel signed the agreement on Friday (10 March) covering winemaking practices and wine labelling.

The deal, which ended trade talks that had lasted over 20 years, will see the "mutual recognition" of EU and US winemaking practices and place names of origin.

"This agreement provides our California wineries with long-term access to European markets so we can make marketing investments with greater certainty," said Bobby Koch, president and CEO of the Wine Institute.

"This is an important first step in leveling the playing field, and establishes an environment for continued communication."

Koch added that he hoped the next round of WTO trade talks would see a cut in subsidies handed to EU wine producers.

The EU is the largest market for US wines, accounting for nearly half of exports.


Sectors: Wine

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