United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Bolivia’s Foreign Minister Karen Longaric signed an agreement today to officially recognize each countries native distilled spirits.
Under the agreement, the United States will recognize Singani, a type of brandy, as a distinctive product of Bolivia; and in return, Bolivia will recognize Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey as distinctive products of the United States.
“Today’s agreement between the U.S. and Bolivia will ensure that only Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey produced in the United States according to official U.S. standards may be sold in Bolivia,” said Distilled Spirits Council of the United States Vice President for International Trade Rob Maron. “We greatly appreciate the efforts of the Office of the United States Trade Representative for working to secure these protections for America’s distinctive spirits — Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey.”
The signing ceremony, which took place at USTR headquarters, involved the exchange of letters detailing the process by which each country will formally recognize each other’s distinctive distilled spirits categories.
Bolivia will grant distinctive product status to Bourbon Whiskey and Tennessee Whiskey, no more than 30 days after the United States publishes a Final Rule to grant distinctive product status to Bolivian Singani.
Maron added, “Bolivia is now the 44th country to provide this important protection for Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey. This move will ensure the integrity of U.S. products and help Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey exports expand to this growing market.”
Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey are recognized as distinctive U.S. products by major trading partners, including: the European Union (28 countries), Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Korea, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Peru.
According to the latest data in Euromonitor International, in 2018, “Singani” accounted for nearly half of the total volume of sales in the spirits category in Bolivia. The whiskey category, which is 100 percent imported, accounted for approximately 9 percent of the total volume of spirits sales in 2018. American whiskey accounted for 7 percent of the total whiskey category.