New EU Trade Strategy

January 01, 2021

In 2020 Drinks Irland|Irish Whiskey made a comprehensive submission to the EU trade policy review on behalf of the Irish whiskey industry.

As an export-focussed industry, and as the EU’s second-largest spirits GI export, our industry has a particular interest in EU trade policy.

The European Commission have now published its new EU Trade Strategy.

On a positive note, the new EU Trade Strategy contains commitments on a number of important issues to the Irish whiskey industry:

  • Strengthening partnership with the US
  • Seeking an ambitious and comprehensive WTO agreement on digital trade
  • Stronger and effective enforcement
  • Support for SMEs
  • Deepened engagement with Africa

There is strong focus in the strategy on ESG considerations (environment, sustainability and governance). While this is positive, there is nonetheless a concern the strategy is less focussed than it should be on the positive economics of trade and the continuing need to expand free trade with more markets, particularly in Asia.

We are particularly concerned regarding the absence of GI promotion and protection from the strategy, given it was up-to-now seen as a cornerstone of EU trade policy.

We will be working with spiritsEUROPE to clarify our questions while activity supporting the positives.

You can download the new EU Trade Strategy below.

EU Trade Strategy pdf | 1040.5 kb