The Wine Origins Alliance, (WOA), a global coalition of 31 organizations representing nearly 90,000 wineries and grape growers, today released the following statement in response to the unanimous U.S. Senate confirmation of Katherine Tai to be the next U.S. Trade Representative by a vote of 98-0:
“The Wine Origins Alliance applauds the Senate for its unanimous, bipartisan vote to confirm Katherine Tai as U.S. Trade Representative at a critical time for the wine industry. Winemakers and consumers alike are facing tremendous economic pain due to the COVID-19 pandemic and devastating wildfires, which have been exacerbated by the past administration’s retaliatory tariffs on wine imposed as part of ongoing trade disputes. We urge Ambassador Tai to work alongside her partners in the European Commission to build upon the recent progress that has been made towards resolving the aircraft subsidies dispute and seek multilateral solutions to other disputes that avoid tariffs on unrelated products such as wine.
“In addition, we call on Ambassador Tai to take action to better protect wine place names in U.S. trade agreements, which would ensure that the wines consumers purchase are in fact from the region they expect. The American wine industry is built on distinctive regional names, and consumers around the world have come to expect truthful and accurate labels regarding the origin of American wine. Supporting the protection of wine place names worldwide would subsequently support the exports of American wine from American winegrowing regions.
“We look forward to working with Ambassador Tai to eliminate barriers to trade in wine and allow the global wine industry to flourish.”
WOA sent Ambassador Tai a letter detailing several ongoing trade issues that the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative will face under her leadership, including harmful tariffs on the wine industry and the lack of effective name protection for wine regions.