07 Apr 2020

Dinner for three

EU, China and the US around the geographical indications table

Weinian Hu

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China is the EU’s second biggest agri-food exports market. It is also the second destination for the export of EU products protected by geographical indications (GI), accounting for 9% of its value, including wines, agri-food and spirits. The EU-China Agreement on the Protection of Geographical Indications, concluded in November 2019, is expected to realise higher potential for exporting EU GIs to the country since market access is now guaranteed. But the US-China Economic and Trade Agreement, signed in January 2020, has set down a couple of precautionary measures, including a consultation mechanism with China before new GIs can be recognised for protection in the Chinese market because of international trade agreements. As a result, EU GIs could be brought under tighter US scrutiny before being recognised for protection in China. Analysis reveals, however, that only a handful of EU GIs may be affected by the latter Agreement, if at all.