WASHINGTON & BRUSSELS — The two leading wine sector organizations in the European Union (EU) and United States (US) today announced the signing of a landmark statement of principle on trade and tariffs. Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins (CEEV) and Wine Institute are the founding signatories of the new document recognizing the importance of the transatlantic wine trade and calling for the immediate elimination of all tariffs on wine.
The statement calls on the governments of the EU and US to preserve and strengthen the EU-US wine partnership through the complete elimination of tariffs, a concept known as “zero for zero,” and refraining from targeting wine in unrelated trade disputes, or “wine for wine.” The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) embraced “zero for zero” for certain products more than 20 years ago, leading to increased trade for those products that benefited from a zero tariff.
“A free wine trade environment is essential to preserve the longstanding efforts and investments of our wine companies,” said Jean-Marie Barillère, President of CEEV. “We urge authorities to protect our sector from being caught in the crossfire in unrelated trade disputes.”
“Export markets are a key growth opportunity for US wineries, but tariffs of any kind stand in the way. It is time for all governments to recognize the unique benefits of the wine trade and eliminate tariffs once and for all,” said Robert P. “Bobby” Koch, President and CEO of Wine Institute.
Both the US and the EU are each other’s largest export markets, with total trade reaching $5.33 (€4.66) billion in 2018, creating jobs and investment on both sides of the Atlantic. Additional signatories to the statement of principle will be announced in the future.
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