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RESOLUTION - EU-USA free trade agreements (PTCI/TTIP)

Monday 02 Nov 2015

Le 02 Nov 2015 -

RESOLUTION

 

EU-USA free trade agreements (PTCI/TTIP)

 

Wine is the single most important agricultural export from the EU

 

TARIFF ISSUES

 

AREV stresses that in view of the low level of reciprocal tariff protection currently in force in the winemaking sector, customs duties are not the central issue in these negotiations.  The transatlantic harmonisation must therefore essentially concern the standards and regulations, whether these are legal, financial, sanitary, environmental, cultural etc.  

 

For the winemaking sector, it is the more ambitious European standards (dependent upon those of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine - OIV) that risk being sacrificed, as obstacles to free competition.  The stakes are therefore particularly high for the European and world winemaking model.

 

REGULATORY ISSUES

 

AREV therefore demands that the Commission and its negotiators for the wine sector of the free trade agreement demand that

 

  • the USA forgo, both on the internal and export markets, using the 17 so-called “semi-generic” indications of European geographical origin listed below, even when accompanied by such expressions as “style” or “type” etc.: Burgundy, Chablis, Champagne, Chianti, Claret, Haut-Sauterne, Hock, Madeira, Malaga, Marsala, Moselle, Port, Retsina, Rhine, Sauterne, Jérez-Xérès-Sherry and Tokaj,

 

  • the USA forgo, both on the internal and export markets, using the following traditional European indications: château, classic, clos, crémant, cream, crusted/crusting, fine, late bottled vintage, noble, ruby, superior, sur lie, tawny, vintage and vintage character, vendanges tardives, sélection de grains nobles,

 

  • the USA guarantee respect for the European winemaking practices recognised by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) for all their wines exported to the European markets,

 

  • the European wines will be exempt from the Certificate of Label Approval (COLA),

 

  • the European, in accordance with Regulations (EC) No 834/2007 and 889/2008 produced “organic wine” will be recognize in the USA.

 

GOVERNANCE OF THE INTERNET FOR GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS

 

Bearing in mind that it is the World Trade Organisation (WTO) that manages the agreement concerning the trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (ADPIC/TRIPS) on the protection of geographical origins (Articles 22 and 23), AREV draws attention to the fact that the European Commission, the European Parliament and the OIV have recently expressed serious criticism to the American ICANN organisation (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) concerning the attribution of new “.wine” or “.vin” generic top-level domains without any protection of the geographical indications.  In this regard, AREV demands that the unilateral American governance of the internet should be urgently re-evaluated, and should evolve towards greater multilateralism, especially regarding procedures for objections and appeals.

 

PRIORITY TO MULTILATERAL OBJECTIVES

 

In view of the proliferation of bilateral and inter-regional agreements, which weaken the multilateral systems of the WTO, the OIV, and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), AREV considers that without American respect for the WTO’s ADPIC/TRIPS agreements and without the return of the USA to the OIV (definition of wine, winemaking practices), any progress regarding the above points will be doomed to failure. AREV urgently asks the Commission not to derogate from the recommendations and fundamental principles of such important international organisations as the WTO, the OIV and the OMPI (amongst others, the clause concerning the most favoured nation and the settling of disputes). At stake are the credibility of Europe and the maintaining of its influence on the establishment of regulations, norms and international standards.

 

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