WASHINGTON and BRUSSELS, Jan. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- 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.
Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins (www.ceev.eu) was founded in 1960 and represents the European Union wine companies in the industry and trade (still wines, aromatised wines, sparkling wines, liqueur wines and other vine products). It brings together 23 national organizations from 12 EU Member States, plus Switzerland and Ukraine, as well as a consortium of four leading European wine companies. The companies represented by CEEV, mainly small- and medium-sized companies, produce and market most quality European wines, both with and without a geographical indication, and account for over 90 percent of European wine exports.
Wine Institute (www.wineinstitute.org) is the premier organization representing California wineries in the US and around the world. With more than 1,000 winery and affiliated business members, Wine Institutes initiates and advocates public policy that enhances the ability to responsibly produce and export wine. California is the fourth largest wine-producing region in the world and produces more than 80 percent of total US wine production and 95 percent of US wine exports.