DISCUS

U.S. – CHILE FREE TRADE AGREEMENT COMPLETED TARIFFS TO END ON DISTILLED SPIRITS

December 17, 2002 07:00 PM
BOURBON AND TENNESSEE WHISKEY RECEIVE DISTINCTIVE PRODUCT PROTECTION WASHINGTON—The United States and Chile completed negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on Wednesday, December 11 that will eliminate all Chilean tariffs on U.S.-made distilled spirits two years after the agreement goes into effect. According to the Distilled Spirits Council, Congress is expected to vote on the agreement in 2003. The FTA calls for the elimination of all tariffs and quotas on all U.S. goods at predetermined intervals, including the tariff on U.S.-origin spirits. The tariff on spirits will remain constant for two years before being eliminated altogether. Also included in the FTA is a provision recognizing Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey as distinctive products of the United States. This distinction is particularly important to U.S. distillers because it ensures that Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey sold in Chile are produced according to U.S. law. “This agreement signifies a victory for U.S. spirit producers and American business in general,” said Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS) Senior Vice President for International Issues & Trade, Debbie Lamb. “Chile is one of South America’s most vibrant economies and represents a developing market for U.S. goods with outstanding upside potential. We feel the elimination of trade barriers between the U.S. and Chile is a win-win situation for the consumers of both nations.” Early negotiations indicated that the spirits tariffs would remain for longer than two years, but the persistent efforts of U.S. negotiators helped secure a much improved final agreement. “The spirits industry is most appreciative of the efforts of Ambassador Zoellick and his negotiating team,” added Ms. Lamb. “His leadership proved to be critical in securing the two-year expiration of the spirits tariff and critical protections for Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey.” For additional information or to schedule an interview please call 202-682-8840. CONTACT: Frank Coleman or Lisa Hawkins Telephone: 202-682-8840 SCROLLER Publication Name: Publication Author:
 

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