The United States Trade Representative – USTR office has principal responsibility for administering U.S. trade agreements. This involves monitoring our trading partners’ implementation of trade agreements with the United States, enforcing America’s rights under those agreements, and negotiating and signing trade agreements that advance the President’s trade policy.
On January 31, 2019, Ambassador Gregg Doud, USTR Chief Agricultural Negotiator, and Ambassador Kim Darroch, United Kingdom (UK) Ambassador to the United States, signed two agreements covering wine and distilled spirits to ensure there is no disruption in trade of these products between the United States and the UK when the UK leaves the European Union (EU). Currently the United States has agreements on wine and distilled spirits with the European Union which cover trade with the UK by virtue of its membership in the EU.
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The U.S.-UK agreement on the mutual recognition of certain distilled spirits/spirits drinks will continue the recognition of the names Scotch whisky, Irish whisky, Tennessee whisky, Bourbon whisky, and Bourbon in bilateral trade following the UK’s exit from the EU. The UK was the top export market for U.S. distilled spirits in 2017, totaling $187 million.
The U.S.-UK agreement on trade in wine, which includes commitments regarding wine-making practices and labeling requirements, will ensure market continuity for bilateral wine trade. The UK was the fourth largest export market for U.S. wine products in 2017, with a value of $227 million.
As part of the U.S.-UK Trade and Investment Working Group, the United States and the UK are working to ensure commercial continuity for UK and U.S. businesses, workers, and consumers as the UK leaves the EU. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer notified Congress on October 16, 2018 of the Administration’s intent to enter into trade negotiations with the UK once it leaves the EU.