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Deputy U.S. Trade Representative C.J. Mahoney and Bolivian Foreign Minister Karen Longaric Exchange Letters on Unique Distilled Spirits

January 24, 2020

Washington, DC -- Deputy United States Trade Representative C.J. Mahoney and Bolivian Foreign Minister Karen Longaric today exchanged letters to launch a process by Bolivia to designate Bourbon Whiskey and Tennessee Whiskey as distinctive products of the United States, and by the United States to designate Singani as a distinctive product of Bolivia. Singani, Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey are among Bolivia’s and the United States’ most unique and well-recognized products. This exchange of letters represents a positive development for both countries’ industries and reflects a shared interest in renewed bilateral trade ties.

Background

Singani is a distilled spirit made from white Muscat grapes and has been called the “national drink” of Bolivia. It is produced in the Bolivian Andes at elevations between 5,250 feet and 9,200 feet. Bolivia has asked the United States to recognize Singani as a distinctive product of Bolivia, and USTR has asked Bolivia to recognize Bourbon Whiskey and Tennessee Whiskey as distinctive products of the United States. Similar product status was granted for U.S. Bourbon and Whiskey in U.S. free trade agreements with Mexico, Canada, Peru and Chile, and by a letter exchange with Brazil. Under the agreement reached today, the Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) will publish a notice of proposed rulemaking that will solicit comments from the public. If TTB promulgates a final regulation designating Singani as a distinctive product of Bolivia, Bolivia will recognize Bourbon Whiskey and Tennessee Whiskey as distinctive products of the United States. This would be a favorable outcome for both U.S. and Bolivian industries and will create increased opportunities for exports of these spirits as previous designations have prompted.

In 2018, U.S. total (two-way) goods trade with Bolivia reached $1.0 billion. The U.S. goods trade surplus with Bolivia was $76 million.

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