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What endgame for GIs in the TTIP negotiations?

I have previously written on the importance that the EU places on extending protection for its geographical indications (GIs) in its negotiations with the US on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement. In that post, I looked at how the protection of GIs was addressed in a number of recent EU free trade agreements, notably those with South Korea (EUKOR) and with Canada (CETA).

GIs remain one of the tough nuts to crack in the TTIP negotiations, for reasons I outline in this presentation. In a recent update on the outlook for the TTIP talks from Bloomberg, its report included GIs along with certain agricultural tariffs and sensitivities on government procurement and financial services as among the endgame issues where a resolution would only be expected as part of the political trade-offs at the end of the talks.… Read the rest

Geographical indications (GIs) in the US-EU TTIP negotiations

The US Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, was in Brussels this week, among other things to have lunch with EU Agriculture Ministers during their monthly Council meeting. He also took the opportunity to have a discussion with Commissioner Ciolos on some of the agricultural issues that are proving difficult to resolve in the ongoing negotiations on the US-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) free trade agreement.
One of these issues is the EU demand that the US should recognise and protect the EU’s list of geographical indications (GIs). Geographical Indications are defined in the WTO as “indications which identify a good as originating in the territory of a Member, or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin”.… Read the rest