The EU and US wine sector organisations Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins (CEEV) and Wine Institute have signed a document on landmark statement of principle on trade and tariffs.

The document calls for the need to terminate all tariffs on wine immediately.

CEEV president Jean-Marie Barillère said: “A free wine trade environment is essential to preserve the longstanding efforts and investments of our wine companies.

“We urge authorities to protect our sector from being caught in the crossfire in unrelated trade disputes.”

The document urges the EU and US governments to maintain and strengthen the transatlantic wine partnership. The end to all tariffs on wine will be implemented through a ‘zero for zero’ concept.

The concept was adopted by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) for certain products more than two decades ago. This zero-tariff approach has led to an increase in trade for those products.

Wine Institute president and CEO Robert P Koch said: “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 recognise the unique benefits of the wine trade and eliminate tariffs once and for all.”

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The total trade between the US and the EU touched $5.33bn in 2018. The statement of principle is expected to see additional signatories join in the future.